As always I started this recipe today. I always read other bakers blogs and it seems that most bake the recipe earlier in the week. Being the procrastinator that I am, it has become a biweekly ritual be clamoring away in the kitchen late into the night with wonderful smells keeping me from sleeping soundly.
I was so excited to do this recipe as I have two Rhubarb plants that hit their three year anniversary this year. Meaning that this is the first year I have been able to really harvest from them. I have never cooked with it before, but figured I would find something to do with it and it seemed divinely inspired that it worked out for this recipe. I was incredibly surprised with how quickly it cooked down. My husband and I make jam quite often and I expected it to be along the same cooking time as apples or cherries, but the Rhubarb was ready fast. As far as vanilla beans all I had on hand were these Burbon Madagascar Vanilla beans that I ordered on accident awhile back, so I tried one of them. They certainly aren’t for the faint of heart, and have a really strongly distinct flavor, but with the Rhubarb it seemed to work really well.
One thing I have to admit is that my Rhubarb never turned red, just a very green color. Although it was beautiful I was a little worried about getting other people to eat it so….I dyed it red. My husband and I can’t have this entire pan sitting around all week and I figured I would take it to work, therefore I want it to be as appealing as possible so I have nothing left to bring back home.
The dough worked really well. I was amazed at how hard it got, although with four sticks of butter I can’t be too surprised. The grating process was as bizarre as I thought it would be when I read the recipe for the first time. I actually went out and bought a box grater for this, because all I had up until this point was my food processer and my hand held micro planer. I didn’t want to use the food processor attachment because I was afraid it would get too hot. In reality after trying to hand grate the first log of dough, I gave up and threw it through the grating attachment on the F.P. and it worked out incredibly well. I guess I will save the new grater for veggies. One other thing I would probably do differently is I would pat down the dough a bit more so it would hold together a little better. Mine seems to want to fall apart, but perhaps it is because it hasn’t completely cooled.
I didn’t see the post about baking the first layer until after I baked mine. It definitely seems a little soft underneath, but tasted wonderful so I can’t complain too much about the recipe. The only thing I would probably have to add is that it is very rich. I layered with LOTS of powdered sugar, I mean can you have too much powdered sugar? (After cutting my husband the first piece he said it looked like a funnel cake. haha)