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Rhubarb Crostata with Spelt & Fennel Seed Pastry

Rhubarb Crostata with Spelt & Fennel Seed Pastry

Tart rhubarb is the star ingredient in this Italian crostada, combining with strawberries, fennel and buttery pastry to have everybody coming back for seconds.

Rhubarb Crostata with Spelt & Fennel Seed Pastry


Serves 8



  • 500g chopped rhubarb stalks
  • 250g strawberries, chopped
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 5 fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar

For the spelt pastry:

  • 2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds
  • 125g cold butter, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten



  1. For the pastry, combine the flour, almond meal, fennel seeds and a pinch of salt in a food processor and process until combined. Add the butter, icing sugar, orange rind, and process until fine crumbs form. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the beaten eggs and set aside to brush over the tart. Add the remaining egg to the flour and process until mixture just comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly until smooth. Divide into two and wrap in non-stick baking paper.  Refrigerate to rest for 1 hour.
  2. To make the filling, place the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, orange juice, vanilla seeds and bean in a large saucepan. Place over medium-low heat; stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture is jammy and thickened. Set aside to cool completely.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Roll out each pastry between two sheets of non-stick baking paper to 3mm thick. Line the base of 2 x 18cm (base measurement) fluted tart tins and trim the edge. Bring the excess pastry together and roll between baking paper to 3mm thick and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the vanilla pod from the rhubarb mixture and discard. Divide the mixture between the two tarts. Cut the remaining pastry into 1cm wide strips and arrange in a lattice over each tart, pressing edges to seal. Brush with reserved beaten egg. Mix the fennel seeds and sugar together and sprinkle over the pastry.
  5. Place tarts on a baking tray and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until the pastry is golden. Set aside to cool. Slice to serve.


Smart Tip:

  • To make 1 large tart, use a 25cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin.
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