Walnut Tartine with Rhubarb, Milk Skin, and Sweet Strawberries
Chef Michel Bras of Bras – Laguiole, France
Adapted by StarChefs.com from Essential Cuisine by Michel Bras (Ici La Pr, 2002)
May 2010

Yield: 4 Servings


Strawberry Liqueur:
1¼ pounds fresh, fragrant strawberries
5 ounces sugar
½ cup eau de vie

Walnut Tartine:
2 ounces bread, slightly stale
5 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 egg
3 tablespoons melted butter

Rhubarb stalks
¾ cup sugar
2/3 cup water

To Assemble and Serve:
Milk skin (recipe on page 259 of Bras’ cookbook)
Demerara sugar
Rhubarb peelings

For the Strawberry Liqueur:
The day before, wash and hull the strawberries. Cut in quarters and mix with the sugar in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 24 hours. The following day, drain the juice from the strawberries and add it to the eau de vie. Transfer the liquid to a bottle and refrigerate. This is a liqueur that you want to use right away to savor all the taste of the fruit.

For the Walnut Tartine:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cut the bread into ¼-inch cubes. Dry the bread in a low oven. Prepare the nougatine with the walnuts and sugar following the directions on page 259 of Bras’ cookbook. Chop it into ¼-inch cubes. Mix the bread, nougatine, confectioner’s sugar, and cornstarch in a big bowl. Add the egg and melted butter. Butter 4 rectangular molds and coat with a layer of walnut-bread mixture about ¼-inch thick. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until light brown. Cool and set aside.

For the Rhubarb:
Clean the rhubarb stalks and cut into 3½-inch long piece. Prepare a syrup with the sugar and water. Immerse the rhubarb in the syrup and simmer. Remove from the heat before the rhubarb is completely poached and let it stand in the syrup to complete cooking.

To Assemble and Serve:
Remove the rhubarb from the syrup and trim the stalks slightly. Spread the milk skin on the crisps and top with the poached rhubarb. Arrange the crisps on plates, sprinkle with the demerara sugar, and garnish with a few rhubarb peelings. Serve with a glass of strawberry liqueur.