Gemini Pie or Rhubarb-Strawberry Tart

Gemini Pie:  Rhubarb+Strawberry Tart

Why is this called Gemini Pie?  Well, I am a Gemini (10. June, in case you were wondering), both rhubarb and strawberries become available at the farmer’s market around now, and the crust is half ground hazelnuts and half gluten-free flour.  This vegan, gluten-free, optionally sugar-free dessert is the perfect example of hybrid vigor all round!

This tart takes about 2½ hours altogether, including blind-baking the pastry shell; it serves 8-10, depending how polite everyone is.  The tart will keep a day or so in the fridge; as with chocolate truffles, storage is not a problem.

Ingredients:

For the crust:
8-10 oz toasted ground hazelnuts
2½ cups gluten-free flour
2 sticks (8 oz) chilled unsalted butter or Earth Balance vegan baking sticks
A good pinch of sea salt
Optional: 2-3 oz erithrytol or coconut sugar

For the filling:
1 lb fresh red rhubarb
2-3 oz erithrytol, coconut sugar, or agave syrup
8-10 oz fresh ripe strawberries, halved or sliced
Freshly ground black pepper and 1 oz sugar or erithyritol

Equipment: food processor, NutriBullet, and 9” spring form pan, foil and spare pennies

Method:

1.   Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil the bottom and sides of your spring form pan; line the bottom with baking parchment, and oil that as well. Set aside.

2.   Using the NutriBullet, grind the hazelnuts as finely as possible.

3.   Add to the food processor along with the gluten-free flour and chilled butter or vegan baking sticks, cut into ½” pieces. Pulse briefly until the mixture forms a coarse meal. Do not over-process.

4.   Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and pat evenly along the bottom and 1” up the sides. Even up the edges. Spray a 12” x 12” piece of foil with oil, and press onto the pastry. Chill for half an hour in the fridge.

5.   In the meantime, cut the rhubarb into 1” pieces. Add to a heavy enameled pan (such as Le Creuset), add erithyritol and an ounce of water, and set over a low heat; stew until rhubarb is just done – about the same tenderness as for asparagus. Adjust the sweetness to taste, mash the rhubarb roughly, and set aside to cool.

6.   Wash the strawberries and cut off the stems. Cut each in half or thick slices (depending on the size of the strawberries). Place in a medium bowl and toss with freshly ground black pepper and an ounce of erithyritol or sugar. Cover and leave to develop juice.

7.   Take the pastry out of the fridge, add pennies or baking beans and spread out to the edges (to keep down the pastry as it cooks). Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top edges are opaque and beginning to brown. Remove the foil and pennies/beans, and repair the edges if necessary. Then put the crust back in the oven for ten minutes until the bottom of the crust is just done.

8.   Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Spread the rhubarb evenly over the bottom, edge to edge. Arrange the fresh (uncooked) strawberries in circles or radially across the rhubarb. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the strawberries are soft.

9.   Cool on a wire rack for about an hour before serving.

10.   Remove the edge of the spring form pan and (if desired) transfer to a serving plate or cutting board. Serve in wedges; for extra lusciousness, hand round with whipped cream or vegan whipped cream.

For a printable version, click here:  Gemini Pie recipe.

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