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.
Strawberry Rhubarb Jalousie
A lovely turnover/danish pastry filled with almond frangipani and fresh fruit.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/8 tsp pure almond extract
- 1/2 cup AP flour
- 1 1/2 cups ground almonds
- 1 14 oz (390 g) block or puff pastry or 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed in both cases
- 1 cup rhubarb chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup strawberries chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar or any granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 5 dashes rhubarb bitters
- 1 egg for egg wash
- 1 tbsp sliced almonds for topping
- icing sugar for dusting
Make the Frangipani:
Cream the softened 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 ground almonds and mix well. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350F
Combine the rhubarb and strawberries in a bowl. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and bitters in a small bowl. Pour evenly over the fruit and stir to combine. Set aside.
On a well floured piece of parchment paper cut to be at least 20x13 inches (place this on your counter so that the shorter ends are up and down when you look at it) roll out the pastry to approximately 15x9 inch rectangle. It should be oriented in portrait, or with the short ends at the top and bottom. It should fit nicely inside the parchment paper
If you are using sheets of puff pastry, line up the longer edges of the two sheets to slightly overlap by 1/2 inch or so. The seam should be in horizontal position when you look down at it. Press down firmly to seal the seam. You won't need to roll these two, as they are now more than large enough.
Spoon the frangipani down the middle of the pastry. It shouldn't be wider than 2.5-3 inches. See Notes below.
Spoon the fruit on top of the frangipani.
Make incisions on either side of the filling on a slight angle (see photos) , stopping short of the filling itself, each cut about 1 inch apart. You should have strips about 2/5 or so inches long and 1 inch wide.
Fold the top fringe across the fruit on a slight angle, pulling gently to cover the fruit. It should just start to meet the other side. But don't force it further. As long as it covers the fruit, you're good.
Fold the opposing fringe over this one, creating a criss cross, pressing gently into each other, so that they adhere.
Continue on till you have reached the end. Press the top and bottom ends tightly and under to seal them. Brush away any excess flour from the parchment paper.
Gently transfer the pastry to a baking sheet, using the parchment to carry it over. The parchment can remain on the baking sheet.
Egg wash the entire pastry, trying to avoid pulling out any fruit juices.
Sprinkle with the almond slices.
Bake until golden, about 30-35 minutes. Don't be eager to remove too early.
Cool and then dust with icing sugar.
I have been making this recipe for years, and have not idea where the recipe came from (before the days of Pinterest!)
As per my photographs, I only spoon enough of the frangipani and fruit that seems reasonable for the size of pastry I have rolled out. If it seems unreasonable to use all that you have prepared, don't use it all in one jalousie. It will just ooze out between the 'braid's'. Better to be reasonable when spooning it out, and then have a bit leftover 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 have extra fruit, just make a second jalousie! Two is better than one, right?! I would just go ahead an make a second one- breakfast the next morning 🙂
Or store the frangipani in the fridge and make tarts later in the week. Just make or thaw frozen mini tart shells. Par-bake 15 minutes after thawing. Then fill with frangipani and top with more fresh fruit. Just remember that frangipani puffs up as it bakes, so you don't need to overfill. 1/3 of the tart is more than enough. Then bake till the shells have finished baking, about 20 more minutes.