Went to a potluck tonight. I'd been planning all week on taking the couscous salad, but then when I was out in the yard picking a few sugarsnap peas I noticed that the rhubarb is looking remarkably robust for this time of year. Typically rhubarb kind of wilts away in the summer heat, only to rebound when the fall rains and cooler temperatures arrive. But my rhubarb is planted on the east side of my apple tree, so it gets full sun in the spring before the apple tree leafs out, and then only a little morning sun in the heat of summer. So, I made the couscous salad, and also a (sorry no picture--we were late leaving for the party and it's all gone now!):
1 1/4 C flour
1 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 C unsalted butter, frozen and then thawed just enough to cut with a sharp paring knife
2-3 T ice-cold water
about 4 C rhubarb, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1 C sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/4-1/3 C chopped crystallized ginger
pinch of salt
Mix the filling ingredients together and let sit, stirring occasionally, while you make the pastry. This will draw the juices out of the rhubarb and dissolve the sugar.
For the pastry, briefly blend the dry ingredients in the food processor. Scatter 1/2-inch cubes of butter over the top, and pulse until the largest pieces of butter are petite-pea-sized. Sprinkle 2 T ice-cold water and pulse a couple more times. Test dough by pinching to see if it will hold together without being too crumbly, and add more water if needed. Do not overprocess. Pour dough mixture onto floured pastry cloth or board, and press together, being careful to handle it only as much as it absolutely necessary (if it seems sticky, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1/2 hour).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll pastry into a circle approximately 1/8 inch thick and 11-12 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer pastry to a 9-inch tart pan, rolling edges under where they overlap the sides. Press the sides into the pan crenellations so they are of an even thickness. Pour rhubarb mixture into pastry-lined pan, put on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes, until pastry is golden, rhubarb is tender and juices are bubbling. Let cool until just barely warm (so the juices aren't too runny) before serving with vanilla ice cream.