Rhubarb and custard is a classic combination but this tart updates the concept and adds delicious pastry to the mix!
This is a big tart – it’s rare that I ever dig out my 25cm flan tin. The tart is packed full of rhubarb. I cooked it in dark brown sugar rather than the light brown suggested in the recipe and it gave a lovely rich caramel edge to the dish.
I love it when you cut a slice and see the custard seeping down into little pockets in the rhubarb:
The balance of flavours is delightful and it’s important to retain the tangy acidity of the rhubarb to offset the custard and pastry. I think it’s also important to refrain from over-cooking the rhubarb as it’s nice to have chunks in the tart.
For the pastry:
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon caster sugar
275g plain flour
For the filling:
1kg garden or forced rhubarb
150g-200g dark brown sugar (use the lower amount with forced rhubarb, the higher amount with garden – but taste it and add more if required)
Knob of butter
For the custard:
6 egg yolks
225ml double cream
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons caster sugar
To serve: lightly whipped double cream
How to make:
- First make the pastry: place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the dough starts to come together.
- Tip the dough out onto floured clingfilm and bring it together. It is exceptionally soft and buttery so you’ll need the flour to stop it sticking everywhere.
- Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
- Wash the rhubarb and chop it into approximately 2cm chunks.
- Place in a frying pan with the brown sugar and butter and simmer until the rhubarb is just becoming soft. This is quicker to achieve if you put a lid on the pan.
- Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 190°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
- Roll the pastry out between two sheets of clingfilm until it is large enough to line a 25cm loose bottomed flan tin. There’s no need to grease the flan tin as the pastry is so buttery.
- Line the pastry with baking paper and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes. Then, remove the baking paper and beans and bake for a further 3 minutes just to dry the pastry out.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Arrange the rhubarb chunks in the pastry case and spoon a little of the caramel syrup that has gathered in the pan over the tart.
- Now make the custard. Whisk together all the ingredients until they are combined.
- Pour carefully over the rhubarb.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the custard has set.
- Serve either hot or at room temperature.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.