This rich pastry is easy to make and very forgiving. It can be made 24 hours in advance.
Cream Cheese Pastry
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz. cold cream cheese, cubed
6 oz. cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
6 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
1 tbsp 35% cream
1 tbsp coarse sugar (or granulated sugar)
Step 1: To make cream cheese pastry, combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor and buzz until combined. Add cream cheese and butter and pulse until mixture forms very large clumps. Remove and shape pastry mixture into large flat disc. Wrap disc in plastic and chill in fridge 30 minutes.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 400°F.
Step 3: In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt. Cut open vanilla bean and scrape out seeds, discarding outer pod. Add seeds to sugar mixture and, using fingers, combine well. Add rhubarb and mix well with a large spoon.
Step 4: Place a large sheet of parchment paper on counter and dust lightly with flour. Unwrap chilled pastry and place on parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll pastry into a 16" circle. Transfer pastry along with paper to large baking sheet. Spoon rhubarb mixture into centre of disc; be sure to leave a 3" outer edge. Gently fold up the edges over rhubarb filling to create a border, overlapping and pressing gently so folds stick together.
Step 5: Whisk egg and cream together. Brush over pastry, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 10 minutes, reduce heat to 375°F and bake another 27-33 minutes, or until pastry is golden and rhubarb filling is bubbly. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Serve with Thyme Ice Cream.