There is been a lot of chatter lately amongst bloggers about not blogging anymore. I have read a couple posts recently by successful bloggers that are either taking an extended break or they are moving on to new ventures entirely. There are new blogs being started every day but those of us who have been slogging it out for a few years (and more) are burning out. I have not spoken to a single blogger who has been around for a while that isn’t sick of the ‘game’. The bullshit three ring circus that one has to go through to get a few extra pins or grow their social media reach.
I’m not so naive as to think that the Field of Dreams method of blog writing is really going to work if you want to make a living at blogging. If you build it, people will not come by way of the magical force of nostalgia. Promoting your work through social media and recipe sharing sites is an important aspect of food blogging.
As opportunities to make an income solely through a blog via money from ad networks shrink, bloggers are seeking alternative sources of income. One of these is the sponsored post. This is something that I do now and then, but I’m very picky about what I do. The reason I can be choosy is because this blog isn’t really a source of income for my family. I have more or less, stopped trying to monetize my blog lately.
Worrying about how I’m not making any money from my blog and still doing all the work in creating recipes and writing blog posts that connect with readers was sucking the soul out of me. The blog had become a dark shadow that was hanging heavily across my life. Last month, I seriously considered quitting the blog altogether. Then I ordered 10 pounds of winter rhubarb through a local food source and recipe ideas started to flood my mind.
I have been thinking long and hard about my blog and what it means to me. I have had some low points recently where my confidence was shot to hell and I felt as though everything I made or wrote was so derivative and irrelevant. It isn’t in me to give up though. I don’t know if I will actually make a living from my blog but I’m not stopping anytime soon.
I thought back to when I started my blog and had an epiphany about why I really, truly started it. I started blogging because I have something to say and I create recipes worthy of sharing. This will be what I build on going forward. I will not be concerned about building my brand as though I am some start-up tech company. I will focus on sharing recipes that I am proud of and that others may enjoy making. I will write blog posts that share part of me. I will focus on the belief that I do have something to say in this world.
Have you ever been passionate about something such as music, art, or blogging and then become disillusioned? Did you recover and move forward? Please share if you did or did not and perhaps what you learned from this.
It is fitting that the first recipe I share after my little hiatus is rhubarb. It is a beloved part of spring for many people. This recipe is a bit of a riff off of my other Rhubarb Custard Tart; as you can see I love rhubarb with custard.
For this recipe, use any basic pie dough you like. Use store-bought if that is what you prefer. I am including my recipe for basic double crust pie dough. This tart only calls for a single crust, so save the other half of the dough for another day. Omit the sugar in the dough recipe and you can use it as the base for a quiche for dinner. There is no reason you can’t have pie for dinner and dessert.
The tartness of the rhubarb pairs beautifully with the creamy sweetness of the white chocolate custard in this tart.
45 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
1 hr, 15 Total Time
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb (approx. 230 grams)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 100 g white chocolate
- 1 cup 35% cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cold lard, cubed
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp cold water
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Roll out one half of a double crust pie dough to about 12" in diameter.* Fit it into a 9" ceramic tart dish or a regular pie dish (not deep dish). Slice the excess dough off using the top of the dish as a guide. Set it aside in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Chop the rhubarb into 1/4" (or slightly thinner) pieces. If the stalk is quite thick, slice it in half lengthwise first. Set the chopped rhubarb aside.
- Break up a 100 g bar of white chocolate into a microwave safe bowl or use white chocolate chips. Pour 1/2 cup of the cream over the white chocolate and microwave it on medium high for 45-60 seconds. When it is 70% melted and the bowl is distinctly warm, stir the white chocolate and cream with a whisk to melt it all the way and mix it with the cream. Pour in the remainder of the cold cream into the now melted white chocolate mixture.
- In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, corn starch and vanilla. Whisk in the white chocolate and cream mixture.
- Spread the chopped rhubarb on the bottom of the prepared pie shell. Pour the custard over the rhubarb.
- Bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes. It will be done when the edge of the tart starts to soufflee (puff) very slightly and the centre of the tart is just set. The centre should be slightly jiggly but not runny or liquid. If the centre of the tart is very runny, then give it another 2 or 3 minutes.
- Allow the tart to cool for at least an hour before serving.
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, lard, salt and sugar together until you get pea sized pieces of the fat.
- Pour in the liquid all at once and pulse until the dough becomes a large lumpy ball.
- Turn it out onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball. Cut the ball in half and shape each half into a disc and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
- Place a large piece of parchment paper on a board or on the counter. Dust it with flour and put one of the discs of dough on it. Dust the top of the dough with flour as well.
- Put another piece of parchment paper on top and begin rolling out the dough. As the dough gets pressed out, lift off the parchment and dust with flour. Turn the dough a quarter turn and use the bottom piece of parchment to lift the dough up so you can dust the underside of the dough with flour. Use the parchment as an extension of your hands so you touch the dough as little as possible.
- When the dough is about 12"-13" in diameter, roll the dough onto the rolling pin.
- Unroll the dough onto your pie dish and gently fit the dough inside the dish with the excess hanging over the edge of the dish. Slice the excess off using the rim of the tart plate as a guide.
- Save the other disc of dough in the freezer - well wrapped in plastic and in a freezer bag.
If using a pre-made crust, then I recommend transferring to to a ceramic pie or tart dish. The baking time would be different in a tin.
You get approximately 3 1/4 cups of filling with this recipe. Plan accordingly with the dish you use for that volume.