Rhubarb Pie-Tartlets

Are you ready for a big foodie confession? The first time I ever ate or baked with rhubarb was last year.

(I’ll wait while you pick your jaw up off the floor…)

It’s crazy, isn’t it?! Somehow, it had never been on my radar. My mom and grandma were never big pie bakers when I was younger, so I never had a rhubarb or strawberry-rhubarb pie placed in front of me. And being wholly Italian, my grandfather’s large garden produced copious amounts of tomatoes, green beans, peppers, lettuce, etc. But no rhubarb. Luckily, my Chief Culinary Consultant introduced me to it through stories of the dreamy strawberry-rhubarb pies that his grandmother used to make. I started checking out recipes and before long I had pink stalks in hand and my first strawberry-rhubarb pie was made. Success! I loved it! I couldn’t wait to spread my rhubarb wings…

I saw this pastry crust in my Martha Stewart Baking Handbook and it struck me as really unique because it has cornmeal in the crust. She used the crust for a mixed fruit galette, and I saw no reason why it wouldn’t work perfectly with rhubarb and rustic little mini tartlets. Something different. And delicious.

Getting the rhubarb filling figured out resulted in some testing trial and error. I knew I didn’t want to put the rhubarb in “raw” like a pie filling because it wouldn’t cook down enough in the little tartlets. And I didn’t want to create a compote in which the rhubarb was broken down totally. I wanted something in the middle. In the end, I compromised by using a pie filing and cooking it down slightly before assembling the tartlets. It was perfect!

This pastry crust is phenomenal – flaky, buttery and with just a slight crunch due to the cornmeal. It’s a wonderful base for the rhubarb filling, which strikes the perfect balance between tart and sweet.

Every time I see a rhubarb baked good, all I think of is pretty in pink 🙂  Love the hue! Enjoy!

One year ago: Guacamole
Two years ago: Coconut Chocolate Chunk Blondies
Three years ago: Lighter Chicken Parmesan

Rhubarb Pie-Tartlets

Yield: 8 tartlets

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes


For the Cornmeal Pâte Brisée Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
¼ to ½ cup ice water

For the Rhubarb Filling:
1 to 1½ pounds rhubarb (about 5 cups ½-inch diced)
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, lightly beaten (for the egg wash)
Sanding sugar or granulated sugar, for sprinkling


1. Make the crust. Place the flour, cornmeal, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse several times to combine. Add the butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, pour the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, until the dough just holds together (do not process for more than 30 seconds). Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten each to form a disk. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

2. While the crust chills, make the rhubarb filling. Combine the diced rhubarb, both sugars, the cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb releases its liquid and begins to breakdown, creating a thick, chunky sauce, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

3. One at a time, roll each disk of dough into a 14-inch circle. Using freehand or an upside-down bowl, cut out 5-inch circles and place on a large, parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

4. Spoon rhubarb filling into the center of each dough round (about 2 big spoonfuls), leaving about an inch border around the edge. Fold the border over the rhubarb mixture, overlapping where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds.

5. Brush the edges of the dough with egg, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbles a bit, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

*Note: The dough can be frozen, wrapped well in plastic, for up to three weeks before using.

(Crust recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook; Filling adapted from In Praise of Leftovers)


47 Responses to “Rhubarb Pie-Tartlets”

  1. Jen of My Tiny Oven on May 25, 2011 at 12:34 am

    I love rhubarb! These tarts are so cute! Can’t wait to try them!


  2. Katrina on May 25, 2011 at 12:35 am

    These are so beautiful! Love this.


  3. Heather on May 25, 2011 at 12:36 am

    Those look so pretty. And delicious! Definitely bookmarking this recipe.


  4. Jessica on May 25, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Eek! These sound amazing Michelle! Perfect summer treat 😉


  5. Ruth on May 25, 2011 at 5:23 am

    I haven’t baked with rhubarb this year either. Shame on me. Might have to try these though…..


  6. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on May 25, 2011 at 5:40 am

    These little tarts are adorable and I love the sound of that cornmeal crust! I’ve had rhubarb pie before but never actually cooked with it!


  7. Adriana on May 25, 2011 at 6:08 am

    I have never baked with rhubarb at all either – not even sure I’ve seen it here at supermarkets! I love the tart shells. Thanks for the recipes and the inspiration!


  8. Apron Appeal on May 25, 2011 at 6:17 am

    Something I love about food blogging is that food I never would have thought about trying all of a sudden becomes a food that I can’t try soon enough. These rhubarb tarts just put rhubarb on my list.


  9. Love rhubarb! I just put some fresh rhubarb in the freezer until I have time to make a tasty treat with it. I think these tarts might be that treat! They look delicious!


  10. Melissa on May 25, 2011 at 7:52 am

    My great grandmother used to make strawberry rhubarb jam. I haven’t had anything rhubarb in at least 20 years. I would love to try these!


  11. Penny Wolf on May 25, 2011 at 8:48 am

    What a fantastic combination of flavors and textures. I love the crunch of cornmeal.
    You might be interested in a pizza dough on Oprah’s site. It also has cornmeal in it
    and it’s yummy and easy to make. Your photos are so pretty by the way 🙂


  12. Emily on May 25, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Those little pies look so cute! What’s that pie mat your’e using? I’ve been stealing my mother-in-law’s for ages but heading back to America next month and must pick one up! Do you like yours?


    • Michelle on May 25th, 2011 at 11:36 am

      Hi Emily, It’s a pastry mat that I ordered from King Arthur Flour. I love it!


  13. Robyn {Planet Byn} on May 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

    i’m in a rhubarb frenzy right now. on the weekend i made a little batch of strawberry rhubarb jam, rhubarb streusel muffins, a rhubarb granola crisp thing to eat for breakfast, and a strawberry rhubarb crumble loaf. there’s such a short window for rhubarb, so i do as much as i can while it’s still in season!


  14. Cookin' Canuck on May 25, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Those are perfect little tartlets, Michelle. Rhubarb is very popular in our house and what better than a miniature pie for my husband? He would love these!


  15. The Café Sucré Farine on May 25, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Rhubarb seems to be more of an old fashioned ingredient that is becoming more popular these days. My mom always had a large rhubarb plant in her garden so it brings back fond memories for me. These tarts look amazing and the technique would be so adaptable to other fruits and even savory tarts. Thanks, Chris


  16. jenna on May 25, 2011 at 10:38 am

    these looks so delicious!! your photos are gorgeous as well.

    p.s. my daughter is obsessed with mario….she is begging me to make your mario cake :-/ there is no way i could recreate that!! lol i’ve never even worked with fondant. we look at it everyday!! lol


  17. Sues on May 25, 2011 at 10:42 am

    These are absolutely adorable!!! While I love rhubarb, I’ve actually never baked with it… I keep saying I’m going to, but just haven’t had the chance yet. These are perfect 🙂


  18. Jess Wakasugi on May 25, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I tried rhubarb for the first time last spring, too, and it was life changing! Sooo yummy and these little tarts are bookmarked for sure 🙂


  19. Taryn on May 25, 2011 at 10:46 am

    These are adorable, and look so good – the crust looks flaky, and the filling looks luscious! I have been dying to make some rhubarb recipes this coming weekend, I think this might be one of them!


  20. Paula on May 25, 2011 at 10:51 am

    That crust looks soooo flaky!
    P.S. I’m not a big fan of rhubarb (shocking I know) and prefer it when mixed with other fruit.


  21. Annalise on May 25, 2011 at 11:06 am

    They are so pretty! I have enough rhubarb to feed an army in my backyard right now, time to get baking!


  22. Maria on May 25, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Yay for rhubarb!! We have a ton to use so I better make these next.


  23. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen on May 25, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I have actually NEVER cooked with rhubarb! I know, it’s crazy! I always look at it and think of celery. Someday I’ll remedy this problem 🙂 These tartlets are super cute, I can imagine filling that crust with so many delicious flavors!


  24. Jen on May 25, 2011 at 11:19 am

    These look amazing. I absolutely love rhubarb. Unfortunately, I live in Texas and due to the climate/weather down here, it’s next to impossible to grow rhubarb or find it fresh. I was lucky last year and was able to get it for a month or maybe 6 weeks in the summer at my local grocery store. I hope they stock it again this year. They do sell frozen rhubarb, though I’ve never tried it for anything yet.


  25. Jenny Flake on May 25, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Adorable! These look so delish, love the photos, making me drool!


  26. Emily Malloy @Cleanliness on May 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I have NEVER cooked with rhubarb. How’s THAT for a confession?! Yikes! I think I need to!

    Especially with this recipe 🙂



  27. Cindy on May 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    These are beautiful! I LOVE rhubarb and am always looking for something different to do with it.


  28. Delishhh on May 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Everytime i meet someone that has never had rhubarb i tell them you HAVE to try it. Either you love it or you hate it. I am an addict. As a little kid i ate raw it as it with some sugar on it – still love that. So now i am trying to grow some in my yard. Goregous tartletes!!! I just made rhubarb chocoalte chip banana bread the rest i made in to sauce and at for breakfast with yogurt 🙂 As always gorgeous recipe!


  29. Maria on May 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Those little things look beautiful. Now, that you’ve made it look so simple I may try to make them. Thank you for sharing them.

    Just one question: since rhubarb is not my kids favorite, can I replace it with something different, like for example blueberries?


  30. Erik @ Good Things on May 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I love strawberry-rhubbarb pie, but I too never tried to bake with rhubbarb until last summer. Perhaps it’s because it can be a little tricky in the final results. I followed the directions of the folks at ATK and had great results. Now that I see these little guys, I’m going to have to give them a try as well. They look great!


  31. Deb @ knitstamatic on May 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Cute tartlets! Since we’re confessing, I love rhubarb but haven’t actually cooked with it. Its not for not wanting to, I guess its just not popular where I live because I rarely see it. The few times I have it didn’t look too good. Maybe I’ll try to find it frozen so I can give it a try.


  32. Connie the Cookie Monster on May 25, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    rhubarb: the taste of summer 🙂


  33. jaclyn on May 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    these look so beautiful! don’t feel bad about being late to the rhubarb party, i just tried it for the first time THIS YEAR. and it’s so delicious!

    i love rustic tarts, and these little tartlettes are beauties!


  34. Cassie @ Bake Your Day on May 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    These are so cute! I’ve only had rhubarb when it’s been in combination with strawberry but I might have to try it along with these!


  35. Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen on May 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I’ve never actually tried rhubarb but when I finally do, I will be making this! 🙂


  36. Jan on May 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I too was intrigued by the cornmeal crust from Martha, but never got the chance to try it. Glad to see you did and it worked out! Will definitely add it to my baking to-do list 😉
    The little tarts are beautiful. Great job on the crimping of the edges!


  37. Feast on the Cheap on May 26, 2011 at 10:32 am

    These are so pretty! I just worked with rhubarb for the first time a month ago – I whipped up a Rhubarb-Ginger Sorbet. Now I can’t put the stuff down!


  38. Tracy on May 26, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Strawberry-rhubarb pie is my all-time favorite. These little tarts are gorgeous!


  39. Marty Rushlow on May 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    They look great! I have rhubarb that I need to use…this recipe fits the bill, along with some vanilla ice cream.


  40. Lisa @ The Cooking Bride on May 31, 2011 at 11:02 am

    It’s not so shocking. Rhubarb is unheard of where I live. I guess because it’s too hot to grow. I can’t get my husband to eat it. My grandmother lived close to Chicago and everyone cooks with it up there. I do have fond memories of rhubarb meringue pies.


  41. Rachel on June 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I made these tartlets the other day and took them to a church potluck. I doubled the recipe and cut the tartlet a little smaller so I could make plenty of them for the crowd we were eating with. And no surprise…they went like hotcakes! They made me look like quite the baking rock star. Someone even came up to me and said something about figuring out that I’m a pretty good cook and they’d better get some of what I brought as soon as possible because it’ll be gone. Wohoo! So thanks for a great recipe.
    Also, I noticed that there may be a misprint. I looked up the crust recipe on martha stewart’s website to double check the butter amount. I believe it should read “1 cup (16 ounces) of unsalted butter”. Right now your site lists it as 8 ounces.
    Thanks again for a GREAT recipe.


  42. Mel on July 17, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Rhubarb grows like crazy out here in WA state.
    Just made these to take to a friend’s summer get together, the rhubarb was fresh from his garden. They turned out great. I didn’t have enough rhubarb so i mixed in some strawberries at the end of the cooking of the rhubarb. Came out juat perfect. Love your site, one of my favorites.


  43. Sandy on April 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Yes I just found your recipe for these rhubarb tarts.. Looking for a recipe I can make ahead for my sons wedding… Could these freeze? Also I have never used cornmeal in a crust … What does the cornmeal do for the crust? Thanks for your help..


    • Michelle on April 21st, 2014 at 10:38 am

      Hi Sandy, I have not tried to freeze these; theoretically, they should freeze fine, but I would test it first before doing so for a wedding.


  44. Katie on July 9, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    My mother loves these. She took them to an Irish Dancing convention and the people there just couldn’t get enough.
    Thank you so much!!!


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