I love rhubarb. I have long desired to bake a rhubarb pie; indeed rhubarb is also known as "pie plant". So when I saw Michael Chiarello (food network) make a strawberry, rhubarb and banana crostata recently, I thought this was my chance to cook with rhubarb.
It was....OK. My son Evan liked it, but it failed to meet my expectations. To be fair to the recipe, I may have undermined my results by dividing (roughly) the ingredients in to two pans, so I could make both a regular and sugarless version, the latter using Stevia and an oatmeal-cinnamon crumble on top. I think I did not have enough fruit relative to the crostata topping, and not enough sweetness to counter balance the extreme tartness of the rhubarb. My husband and father in law did enjoy their Stevia sweetened version, though. In addition, I could have looked for rhubarb of a much deeper red color, for better flavor. So perhaps I am too harsh to call this a "failed" fruit dessert. I am not sure I will try again on this particular recipe, but if you want to give it a go you can find the recipe here on the food network site. (Note: the low viewer rating on the dessert reflects complaints that the recipe was not online, which is misleading).
Fruit tarts also call to me, with their siren song of fresh seasonal flavors, gorgeous colors and elegant simplicity. Regina Schrambling has written an engaging article about the ease of creating fruit tarts, including the tart shell and traditional pastry cream, which you can find here. I aim to try my hand at a fruit tart before this season's berries are gone. I had better be quick about it, as there feels like a bit of change in the weather these days!