To prepare the base of this tart – a thick cookie rather than a classic pie pastry – I use the same recipe as for sablés bretons (shortbread cookies from Brittany).
A pastry from Brittany always means using salted butter. If you don’t have any, you can add a generous pinch of salt, preferably fleur de sel which is, in size, between salt and coarse salt.
Do you know how to make such a thick shortbread? There are tricks to follow, otherwise even if you prepare a beautiful round shape, in the oven with the increasing heat, the dough will “run away” as we say in French and you’ll get a flat, even larger, galette. It’s actually important to place a cold dough in the hot oven rather than a dough at room temperature as the first one won’t have time to melt and spread out while starting to bake.
You first have to roll out the shortbread dough at the desired thickness between two sheets of parchment paper. It’s quite convenient as the dough won’t stick to the rolling pin and you won’t have to spread flour on the working surface. Quick to clean afterwards. At this stage the shape is coarse. Then you have to place this on a baking sheet (or the oven tray) and let it chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Once out of the refrigerator, remove the top parchment paper and shape the forms you wish to get. Two options: either delimit the shape with a knife and remove any excess, or use circle shapes or any shape of your choice: large circle of the size of a pie, any kind of individual shapes or even your child’s clay shapes (make sure not to choose too thin shapes). Then bake. It’s even better if you can leave the circles (metal, not plastic ones) while baking.
I recommend to prepare all ingredients (shortbread, rhubarb compote and washed and cut strawberries) and arrange the tart at the last moment (before dinner or before serving) so that the shortbread won’t soften too much in contact with the rhubarb’s moisture. It’ll only take a few minutes.
I usually double shortbread proportions and bake at the same time the base of this tart and sablés bretons that I leave on the kitchen table (everyone at home – not only the kids – love them and grab them one after the other).
Strawberry and Rhubarb Tart on Sablé Breton Shortbread
Prepare shortbread: mix ingredients, roll out and let it rest for 1 hour, then shape and bake. Prepare a dense rhubarb compote, chill it. Wash and cut strawberries. Arrange before serving.
Portions: 6 shares
If needed, refer to the Conversion and Measures article here