François de Mélogue graduated from the New England Culinary Institute and began his career in a number of highly acclaimed kitchens, including Chef Louis Szathmary’s The Bakery in Chicago and Joel Robuchon’s Gastronomie in Paris. He later opened Pili Pili in Chicago, which was rated in the top ten new restaurants in the world by Food & Wine magazine. Chef François has also appeared on many TV shows, including Food Network‘s “Guy’s Grocery Games,” where his love of food and outgoing personality helped him win. He is also a cookbook author and currently works for Foods in Season, America’s foremost foraging company in the Pacific Northwest.
Francois and his wife Lisa also host amazing culinary adventures to France, showcasing the hidden gems only locals know about. This June, they’re headed to Lyon and Burgundy. For more information, click here. Use code “feastly20” for 20% off!
Rhubarb Cream Tart
This tart is composed of three elements: lightly poached rhubarb, pate brisee (tart dough), and creme patisserie (pastry cream.) You can opt for a pate sucre (a sweet tart dough), but I prefer savory flours over sweeter ones. I will not lie — making this rhubarb tart requires the calmness that only half a bottle of wine can provide…not that I am a lush, but I usually have a seven-year-old boy and his cohorts bouncing off the walls around me as I’m trying to cook. Give this recipe a try and use #PistouandPastis — we love to see your creations!
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 slice ginger root
- 2 pounds rhubarb, ends trimmed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups milk
- 2 large, whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons butter
Michel LeBorgne’s Tart Dough*
*I learned this tart dough from my real mentor, Michel LeBorgne, and I still use it today!
- 12 ounces flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 pound ice-cold butter
- 1/2 cup ice-cold water
This dough recipe makes enough for two tarts. You can freeze half!
To make the poached rhubarb:
- Bring sugar, water, cinnamon, and ginger to a rolling boil. Then turn off the heat.
- Add the rhubarb and poach for 5 minutes in the syrup, then remove.
To make the pastry cream:
- Bring the milk and vanilla to a boil, then remove from the heat.
- Mix whole eggs, yolks, sugar, flour, and cornstarch together.
- Slow add the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking the entire time.
- Pour mixture back into a pot, bring back to a boil, and then cook on low heat for 3 minutes. It will considerably thicken as it cooks.
- Whisk in the butter and then set aside to cool.
To make the tart dough:
- Mix flour, salt, and baking powder, then make a mound.
- Cut cold butter into small cubes and combine with the flour mixture until it resembles course crumbs. I like to use my fingertips.
- Add just enough cold water so that the dough comes together in a ball.
- Let dough rest for a few hours.
To assemble and bake the tart:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Roll out tart dough in a circle until approximately 1/8 inch thick.
- Spread cooled pastry cream over the dough circle, leaving room on the edges.
- Cut poached rhubarb into thin slices and arrange in a tight circle over the pastry cream.
- Fold dough edges over the rhubarb, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar, and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. The pastry cream may look runny and jiggly but will thicken as it cools!
Love this recipe? Check out Chef Francois’ classic beef Bourgignon!