Rhubarb & Custard Tarts
Rhubarb is one of my favourite ingredients to work with. Forced rhubarb in particular has a really vibrant red/pink colour, that looks great once you cook it! Forced rhubarb is typically grown in the Yorkshire ‘Rhubarb Triangle’, and it’s available from around January to March. But if you’re making this recipe out of season just use what you can get. In this recipe I’ve used the classic combination of ‘Rhubarb & Custard’ by pairing it with a vanilla Creme Patissiere. It’s very simple, but really super elegant dessert! I poach the rhubarb in apple juice & spices in the oven, which is a technique being used on Peony Lim (peonylim.com) The quantities of this are a little ‘by the eye’ as it depends on the size of your oven dish.
Makes 6 x 10cm Tarts
For the Pastry:
250g plain flour
125g unsalted butter, cubed (plus extra for greasing)
50g icing sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tbsp water
For the Creme Patissiere:
4 egg yolks
75g golden caster sugar
300g full-fat milk
10g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
For the Rhubarb:
5 sticks rhubarb
80g (roughly) golden caster sugar
500ml apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
Day 1: Crème Patisserie: Make this the day before you need the tarts so that it’s totally chilled and set.
In a saucepan, combine the milk and vanilla and bring to the boil. Meanwhile in a bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar & cornflour.
Once the milk has come to the boil, add to the yolk mixture, little by little, whisking as you do so. Don’t add the milk too quickly or the egg will cook into lumps! Once all the milk is added, place the mixture back into the saucepan over a medium heat, stirring all the time. Bring to the boil and continue to boil for 2 mins.
Pass the creme patisserie through a sieve into a bowl to remove any lumps. Put cling film across the mouth of the bowl and pop it in the fridge.
Day 2: Cook the tarts
The next day start with preparing the rhubarb. Pre heat the oven to 100℃- 80℃ fan. Cut the rhubarb stalks into roughly 6cm batons, scatter the sugar to cover the base of your dish, and place the rhubarb batons on top in one layer.
Pour the apple juice over it until the rhubarb is just covered, add in the vanilla and spices and place in the oven for around 1 hour or until soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Now for the pastry. Preheat your oven to 180℃- 160℃ fan. Grease your tart rings and set them aside.
Combine together the flour, butter & icing sugar and, using your fingertips rub in, until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Once you have a breadcrumb texture make a well in the centre and add the egg and water and, using your hand, mix to form a dough. Be careful not to over work this. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 mins to allow the pastry to rest.
Once rested, on a lightly floured surface roll the pastry out and line each tart ring, trim any excess from around the edge and prick the base with a fork. Place cling film over each tart ring and fill to the top with baking beans. (Yes, cling film! It works great for blind baking!)
Place the tarts in the fridge to rest for 15 mins, then into the oven for around 10 mins, until the edges around the top should just start to be golden. Then take the tarts from the oven and remove the baking beans and cling film, return to the oven for a further 5 mins or until the base has dried. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Once the tart cases have cooled to room temperature, turn out from the tart rings. Fill the cases right to the top with the creme patisserie. Cut the rhubarb in half at an angle and place them around the surface of the tart.
There you have it!
Remember to tag me in your bakes on Instagram! @cameronolamb