For weeks I've been trying to recreate a huge favorite in our house - Scandinavian Rye Bread. I've been having a heck of a time with my San Francisco Sourdough Starter, and its making it difficult to achieve the exact bread I want. I think my starter has a bit of homesickness and is refusing to accept the London air and water (even though I'm filtering it!). Anyway, I've got heaps of rye flour that needs to be morphed into something edible, and not another inedible batch of Scandinavian Rye. It was the perfect excuse to try one of Kim Boyce's recipes from my new favorite cookbook, Good to the Grain. If your interested in creating things in the kitchen using wholegrain flours like rye, spelt, quinoa, barley, etc. this is the book for you.
I made one batch of Boyce's Rustic Rye Dough which made 12 individual crostatas or galettes, but will also make 2 larger 9-inch tarts. She suggested an Apricot+Boysenberry filling, but it isn't really apricot season yet so I used rhubarb and dressed it up with some fresh blackberries. I used Boyce's Rhubarb Hibiscus Compote for inspiration, using dark brown sugar, as she does, instead of white sugar, for a deeper flavor.
- 4 pounds rhubarb stalks
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split
- 2 pounds ripe blackberries
Rinse and trim ends of rhubarb stalks. Cut into 1-inch pieces at a diagonal. Reserve 2 stalks and cut them smaller - into 1/2-inch pieces at a diagonal. Put all the 1-inch pieces in a large, heavy-bottom pot. Add brown sugar and vanilla pod. Stir together, cover, and turn onto low. After ten minutes raise the heat to medium-low for another ten minutes, removing the cover and stirring occasionally. Continue to cook for another ten minutes or so, stirring constantly. At this point all the rhubarb stalks should have melted into a think jammy compote. Add the reserved smaller pieces of rhubarb. Cook for about 5 minutes, so the recently added rhubarb is soft, but so the pieces have not completely broken down. This is especially important if using the compote for the Rustic Rye Crostata. Add the blackberries and cook for about one minute. Leave on the stove, but turn off the heat. Let cool completely and then remove the vanilla pod. Put in a sieve in the fridge overnight to strain the excess liquid. The excess liquid can be saved and used as a sauce on vanilla ice cream or added to sparkling water for a spring cordial!
The blackberries add a wonderful color and is a delicious twist to the usual rhubarb+strawberry combination. Once the compote is strained you can spoon it into rolled-out Rustic Rye Dough. I would absolutely recommend brushing the tarts with an egg wash and cinnamon-sugar as Boyce suggests. Also, this dough would work well in a savory type tart. It is only a smidge sweet and could hold up to something like a tomato+feta tart.