Surprising companions: chocolate and rhubarb in small tarts.
The season for bright pink greenhouse-grown strawberry rhubarb runs from late January to the end of March. Green-tinge field-grown cherry rhubarb is sometimes available as early as October and as late as May or June. Field rhubarb benefits from a few drops of red food coloring if you want it to have the visual appeal of the greenhouse variety.
If you use home-grown rhubard, use only the ribs; market rhubarb is already trimmed. Rhubarb Tarts 3/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca 6 cups rhubarb chunks, cut in 1-inch pieces 2 slices fresh ginger, each about 1 inch in diameter and 1/8 inch thick 1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon grated orange peel Chocolate crusts (recipe follows) Chocolage glaze (recipe follows) Sweetened whipped cream
In a 3- to 4-quart pan, stir together sugar and tapioca. Add rhubarb, ginger, and water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until sugar is partially dissolved, about 15 minutes.
Cover rhubarb, bring to a boil, and simmer until soft when pierced, about 10 minutes; do not stir. Remove ginger. Let cool, cover, and chill (up to 2 days).
To assemble, sprinkle orange peel equally over bottom of each chololate crust. Spoon rhubarb into crusts, dividing equally. With a spoon, pour chocolate glaze on top of each tart, making thin lacy strands. To serve, lift tarts from pan rims; if made ahead, leave in pans and hold at room temperature up to 2 hours. Offer a whole or half tart per person. Pass whipped cream to to individual tarts. Serves 6 to 12.
Chocolate crusts. Finely crush enough chocolate wafers to make 2-1/2 cups crumbs (you'll need about 1-1/2 boxes, 8-1/2-oz. Size, chocolate wafers). Mix with 3/4 cup (3/8 lb.) melted butter or margarine. Press crumbs into 6 tart pans (4-1/2-in. diameter) with removable bottoms. Bake in a 350[deg.] oven for 10 minutes; crusts firm on cooling. Cool, then use; or cover airtight and hold at room temperature up to 1 day.
Chocolate glaze. In a 1-quart or smaller pan over lowest heat, melt 1 ounce each bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate with 1 teaspoon shortening, stirring until smooth. Spoon over tart at once at directed above.
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|Date:||Feb 1, 1985|
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