Strawberry Rhubarb Jalousie
I won’t apologize for the amount of rhubarb recipes I am posting. Rhubarb is such a glorious, yet humble fruit/vegetable, and the tartness that it imparts to recipes is the perfect foil for the simple sweetness of what it is usually paired with.
I’ve been making this pastry/tart/strudel for years now. It’s a given that as soon as rhubarb starts showing up at the markets, this tart will make an appearance. As much for the fact that I get to bake with rhubarb, as for the frangipani layer that lies beneath the fruit. Isn’t frangipani glorious!? That lovely blend of whipped butter, sugar, eggs, and almond meal. A fluffier, softer version of marzipan. I’ve joked that I make this tart as much for the final result, as for the frangipani itself- I’ll just take a spoon as eat it out of the bowl. Don’t go freaking out that I eat raw egg, I eat raw beef (organic of course) as well, and I haven’t keeled over yet, or inherited some bizarre bug or parasite as the result.
And it’s really much easier than it looks. This is one of those recipes where the visual is half the experience. And because you start with ready made, store bought puff pastry it’s a breeze to pull together. I remember once a chef on tv in an interview said, “Even we chefs use store bought puff pastry. Don’t go nuts trying to make your own. Unless you have too much time on your hands.” Or in my humble opinion, are Martha Stewart! Really, when someone asks me if I make my own, my eyes practically glaze over. No, I have no one to impress, I don’t make my own. I get it, you will learn how to make it attending culinary school, and it is a skill that must be mastered (if you’re going to be a pastry chef, which most of us are not!) and yes, if you have nothing else to do, go ahead and make up a batch. But I won’t be impressed that you did!! I’m not trying to sound ornery. It’s just that if the puff pastry available at the grocery store is good enough for a trained professional, it’s good enough for me. There, I’m done!
So yes, this ‘turnover’. You’re really assembling, and faux braiding. Once you’ve spread a layer of frangipani, and then the macerated fruit on top, down the middle of a puff pastry rectangle, you are simply criss-crossing strips that you’ve cut on either side of the rectangle. Once you’ve done this all the way down, it looks like a braid, and that’s it. I was curious why it is called a ‘Jalousie’. So I googled it. Dictionary.com told me it is a ‘noun: 1. window blind or shutter constructed from angled slats of wood, plastic, etc. 2. a window made of similarly angled slats of glass. Word Origin: from Old French gelosie latticework screen; literally: jealousy, perhaps because one can look through the screen without being seen.‘ I can see this definition working for this pastry: the criss-crossing can create the effect of the louvres or slats on a window blind.
I can’t believe I am writing this recipe out for everyone, on a snow day in April. Yes, we get snow in April. Toronto has such a fickle time with Spring. I think we all get so frustrated, because of the extreme cold temps we need to bear in Feb and March, that we are truly desperate for Spring. And when we see photos of cherry blossoms etc up all over North America, (even our western province of British Columbia had their blossoms a month earlier, let alone the pansies etc that they had by the beginning of February) we feel left out! And then there’s the fact that we are just plain tired of wearing black stockings, winter boots, black, grey and brown. We want to embrace pastels like everyone else. Even in small doses, hehe.
So try this out, and let me know how it worked for you. And feel free to change it up a bit once you’ve tried it with the strawberry rhubarb filling. I’ve used other berries, plums, fresh apricots etc. In the end, you could say it’s similar to a really long Danish pastry! Here’s to Spring fruit, and hopefully Spring flowers in Ontario soon 🙂
Update: So I baked this up again today (April 8, 2017) and made a few changes. I decided I would make a smaller version that would basically feed 4, or provide Jim and myself a couple of pieces each. I used one sheet of puff pastry, thawed and unrolled it out. I didn’t roll it past the size it came as (basically 10×11 inches or so). I cut the recipe below in half, adding some chopped fresh mint and thyme, and filled as per usual. It turned out perfect for us. So if you follow this adjustments you will have the perfect mid week treat. Or something to go with coffee.
- 1 390 g (approx 14 oz) block; or 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 cup chopped rhubarb
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 5 dashes of rhubarb bitters
- 1 egg for egg wash
- 2 tsp to 1 tbsp sliced almonds for topping
- icing sugar for dusting
- 1/4 cup room temp unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup AP flour
- 1 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/8 tsp pure almond extract
- Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 5 minutes
- Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated
- Add the almond extract
- Add the flour and almonds and mix well
- Set aside
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Combine the rhubarb and strawberries in a bowl with the sugar, cinnamon and rhubarb bitters. Set aside.
- Roll out the pastry into approximately 15x9" rectangle on a well floured surface.
- (If using sheets of puff pastry, line up the longer edges, overlapping 1/2 inch, and using egg wash to 'glue' together. Press down firmly to seal the seam. You won't need to do any rolling, these two together will be large enough)
- Spoon the frangipani down the middle of the pastry. See notes below!
- Spoon the fruit on top of the frangipani gently.
- Make incisions on either side of the filling, stopping short of the filling itself, each cut about 1 inch apart.
- Fold top fringe across the fruit on a slight angle, pulling gently to cover across to the other side. It doesn't need to meet the other side of pastry, just cover the fruit on top. See notes below!!! Fold the opposing fringe over this one, creating a criss-cross, pressing gently into each other so that they stay down.
- Continue till the end. Press ends together tightly.
- Gently transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. I use two spatulas to do this. See notes below!
- Using egg wash, seal both ends, tucking gently under
- Egg wash the entire pastry, trying to avoid pulling out any fruit juices.
- Sprinkle with almond slices.
- Bake until golden, around 30-35 minutes.
- Cool and then dust with icing sugar
- I have been making this recipe for years, and don't even remember where I found it (before the days of Pinterest!)
- Alternatively, you can roll out onto parchment paper cut larger than the required measurements to begin with, and then transfer the pastry using the parchment paper to the baking sheet. You can fill and braid on the baking sheet this way. Then trim the excess parchment off before putting it into the oven.
- As per my photographs, I only spoon enough of the frangipani and fruit that seems reasonable for the size of the pastry I have rolled out. If it seems unreasonable to use all that you have of each, don't use it all in one jalousie- it will just ooze out between the 'braids'. Be reasonable when spooning out the filling. Better to have a bit left over to use elsewhere, than trying to stretch the pastry too thin to cover over it.
- I find that there is always extra frangipani filling. If you cut up extra fruit, you can easily make a second jalousie. Two is better than one, right?! I would just go ahead and make a second if I were you, then your pieces will be more generous, and there will be a slice or two leftover after company has gone home, for breakfast the next morning 🙂 Even if your second one is using just one sheet of puff pastry, you could make mini, individual jalousie!
- Or store the frangipani in the fridge and make tarts later in the week: make or thaw frozen mini tart shells, par-bake 15 minutes, fill with frangipani, and top with more fresh fruit; bake until shells have finished baking, about 20 minutes