That bright and beautiful time of year is finally here: the lupines are in the woods and the eagles are proudly flying overhead.

So, too, our northern rhubarb is making its presence known. Use it in this lemon tart or as a spread on morning toast or freshly baked scones.


Lemon Tart with Rhubarb Coulis

CRUST

INGREDIENTS

1½ cups crushed graham crackers

¼ cup granulated sugar

? cup melted butter

PREPARATION

  • Mix all together in a food processor or by hand.
  • Press into cake or pie tin.
  • Bake at 375F for 8 to 10 minutes.

LEMON CURD/FILLING

INGREDIENTS

3 eggs

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind/zeste

? cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 tablespoons butter, cubed

PREPARATION

  • In a bain marie (bowl over top of saucepan filled with simmering water) or in a double boiler, over medium-high heat, whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  • Gradually add the lemon rind and lemon juice whisking constantly.
  • Continue to cook until the “curd” thickens and the bubbles just break the surface. The mixture should coat the back of a wooden spoon. This will take 10 to 15 minutes.
  • When thickened, remove from heat and strain through a fine-meshed sieve.
  • Add the butter to the strained curd and stir well.
  • Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or up to one week.

Rhubard Coulis (known in Gold Rush Days as ‘Stewed Rhubarb’)

INGREDIENTS

6 cups fresh Yukon rhubarb, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces

½ cup water

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Pinch of salt

1½ cups granulated sugar

PREPARATION

  • In a non-reactive saucepan, place rhubarb, water, salt and lemon juice.
  • Bring to a gentle boil; reduce heat, cover and cook till tender (about 30 minutes).
  • Check occasionally and add a bit more water if needed.
  • Add the sugar, stir and cook uncovered until thickened (about five minutes more).
  • Taste and adjust sweetness.
  • Puree with a small amount of strawberry jam (or fresh strawberries) to make a coulis.
  • Add cinnamon or pure vanilla extract (one teaspoon) if using as stewed rhubarb.

ASSEMBLY

Into the baked graham crust, pour the chilled lemon curd.

Refrigerate till set.

Serve with cream, Rhubarb Coulis and a twist of lemon.