Rhubarb and almond pie, Conticini style

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A beautiful and delicious rhubarb and almond pie, very much inspired by the recipe of pastry chef Philippe Conticini.

It takes time to make it and it is best to start the day before. The recipe is a bit technical but not that complicated to make, so it’s definitely worth a try!

I’ll give you a few ideas for simpler and quicker pies inspired by this recipe below.

5 from 1 vote

Rhubarb and almond pie, Conticini style

Servings 8
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting time 1 day

Equipment

  • A 20 cm diameter and 5 cm round baking tin with hinges

Ingredients

Sweet shortcrust pastry

  • 120 g flour
  • 60 g soft butter
  • 45 g icing sugar
  • 20 g almond powder
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder or ½ vanilla pod
  • 1 pinch of salt

Almond cream

  • 40 g soft butter
  • 40 g sugar
  • 40 g egg one small egg
  • 40 g almond powder you can roast it, especially if you make the powder yourself
  • 1 tbsp bitter almond extract

Rhubarb confit

  • 540 g rhubarb sticks before peeling
  • 120 g sugar
  • 40 ml water
  • 0.5 g agar agar or 4 g gelatine, or replace the sugar by jam sugar with pectin
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Rhubarb strips

  • 300/350 g rhubarb sticks before peeling
  • sugar

Instructions

Preparation of the sweet pastry (the day before)

  • In a bowl, cream the soft butter with a spatula. Add the icing sugar while continuing to work the butter.
  • Then add the egg, almond powder and vanilla and mix.
  • Finally, add the flour and salt. Mix gently without working the dough too much, you just want the flour to blend in.
  • Once you have a homogeneous dough, stop working at it. Shape it into a ball, flatten it slightly and wrap it in plastic film. Leave it in the fridge overnight.

Preparation of the rhubarb compote (the day before)

  • Rinse the rhubarb sticks and peel them (save the peelings to reuse them for another recipe, like the zero waste rhubarb syrup recipe).
  • Cut the sticks into small pieces and put them in a medium-sized pan.
  • Add the water, salt, lemon juice and sugar. Cook over a low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring regularly so that the mixture does not stick. You should obtain a thick and rather firm texture.
  • At the end of the cooking time, dilute the agar agar in a little water and pour it into the compote. Bring to the boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and leave to cool, before straining and setting aside in the fridge overnight. Note: if you are using gelatine (easier to measure), add it off the heat at the end of the cooking time, after having softened it in water.

Preparation of the almond cream (on the very day)

  • You can roast the almond powder in a pan beforehand to strengthen the taste of the almond, or you can roast the almonds if you make the powder yourself.
  • In a bowl, cream the soft butter and add the sugar. Then add the egg and mix gently.
  • Finish by gently mixing in the almond powder and bitter almond extract and stop mixing as soon as you have a smooth texture.

Preparation of the rhubarb slices (on the very day)

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Clean the rhubarb sticks. You can peel them, but I only peel them partially to keep the nice colours.
  • Cut the sticks into 5 mm thick strips using a mandolin or a sharp knife. You will need about ten to cover the pie (plan to make a few extra in case some are damaged).
  • Cover a baking tray with baking paper. Place the rhubarb slices on top. Sprinkle with a generous amount of sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes until the rhubarb pieces are soft and caramelised. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

Assembling the pie (on the very day)

  • You can prepare the pie base before making the almond cream and preparing the rhubarb slices.
  • Take the pastry out about ten minutes beforehand. Place it between two large sheets of baking paper and roll it out. It should be fairly thin but not too thin. Check that you have rolled out enough dough to line a 20 cm diameter round tin and the edges.
  • Cut out the base of the pie, and the edges (if it is difficult to cut the edges because the pastry sticks, you can put it back in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes). Line the tin with the pastry and prick it with a fork.
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place a sheet of baking paper over the base of the tart and cover with baking balls (or rice, or something else to put an even weight on the base).
  • Bake for 20 minutes, the pastry should turn golden. Remove the pie from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • During this time you can prepare the almond cream. Once ready, pour it over the cooled pie base.
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 160°C.
  • Leave the pie to cool for a further ten minutes. Then, arrange the rhubarb compote on top of the cooked almond cream. Smooth with a spatula.
  • Place the rhubarb stripes to cover the pie and cut off the excess pieces with scissors. Save the scraps (you can add them to a compote, or mix them into a fruit salad, such as strawberries for example).
  • Set aside in the fridge and take it out just before serving.

Notes

This recipe is adapted from the recipe of pastry chef Philippe Conticini. I have reduced the amount of sugar, and I do not use the custard that is normally added to the almond cream. There is no lemon in the pastry either, unlike Conticini’s recipe.
For the decoration of the pie, rather than arranging vertical slices, you can also cut small pieces and make pretty patterns, playing with the colours. You can also cover half of the tart in one direction with the strips, and the other half by arranging the strips perpendicularly.
This pie is quite long to prepare, and a bit technical, but it is delicious and very pretty.
You may want to use it as inspiration for a more rustic and quicker pie. For example, you could make a simpler pie crust (see this recipe for example), cover it with almond cream and then with pieces of candied rhubarb or rhubarb compote. Or you could cover a pie crust with rhubarb compote, and top it with delicately chopped strawberries sprinkled with flaked almonds…
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: pie

Join the Conversation

  1. DELABRE Michèle says:

    5 stars
    Very tasty and very nice to look at with greedy eyes! loved it!

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