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20 May 2018 1 comment

We've had rhubarb growing in the garden for as long as I can remember, so other than a tasty stick of blushing pink sourness, it's a bit of a fond memory for me.

I was so happy to see that our plant had sprouted some rosy stalks this year, and immediately set about creating something delicious to show them off!

This glazed rhubarb and custard tart is an all round winner. I've been handing out little portions to neighbours, friends and family and they've all been coming back for more!

I'll meet you after the jumpbreak for the recipe :)

Even though I'm a sugar fiend, the tart isn't too sweet, and that's something I've had great feedback on, a little to my dismay ;) The tartness and flavour of the rhubarb really shines through, glazed on top with the remnants of it's sweet, sticky orange cooking juices, and tempered below by a silky, creamy layer of custard and of course, crisp pastry.

Contrary to the popular panic, making pastry and creme pat isn't too challenging, but I'm sharing some cheats a bit further down that don't take away from the glory of the fully fledged tart, but do make it an absolute doddle to whip up - so the option is yours, whether you choose to splash out your effort on making everything from scratch, or cheat. And fyi, I've cheated many a time ;)

So let's get cooking :)

What you'll need:

A 36cm rectangular, loose bottomed tin.

For the roasted rhubarb:

Around 5-7 sticks of rhubarb, mine were reasonably thin
The zest and juice of half a large orange
75g caster sugar, I used golden

For the creme patissiere filling:

I usually use this recipe:
250ml of whole milk
1 vanilla pod, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
50g of caster sugar
3 egg yolks
10g of plain flour
10g of cornflour

250g good quality, shop bought custard, I like this kind

Rhubarb and ginger jam, optional

For the pastry:

I usually use this recipe:
125g of butter, cold + cubed
250g of flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp of water


Make the pastry. I use this recipe and method, but I've also written it out at the bottom of this post for you.

Make the creme pat. Again, I use this recipe and method, and I've written it out at the bottom of the post. Both pastry and custard can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge. My trick is to make the creme pat pretty thick. It helps to keep the integrity of the tart when you cut it and I'm going to loosen it a little later with some fresh custard/cream. A nice, thick 'glop' is wonderful ;)

Preheat an oven to 210 degrees celcius.

Using the loose bottom of the tin as a guide, cut the rhubarb into sticks, each length the width of the tin base.

Lay into a baking tray and sprinkle over the sugar, orange juice and zest.

Roast for 10-12 minutes or until yielding. They so easily lose their shape if even a couple of minutes over so watch them like a hawk! Remove from the oven and leave in the tray to cool completely.

Turn the oven down to 180 degrees celcius.

Having removed the pastry around 15-30 minutes before you want to use it, roll out onto a sheet of greaseproof  to stop it sticking.

Line your tart tin, using a ball of excess pastry to press it into the corners.

Roughly trim off the excess, prick the base with a fork, line with greaseproof filled with baking beans or dry rice, and bake blind for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, remove the greaseproof and beans and bake for a further 5-10 or until golden. Leave to cool and remove from the tin.

Dollop the creme pat you made earlier into a bowl, and mix in equal quantities with the shop bought custard.

Once everything is cool, it's time to layer!

Spread a fine layer of rhubarb jam into the base of the tart. Completely optional as it does add a little sweetness, but it can help prevent a soggy bottom if you're keeping the tart for a few days (totally not a problem in my house as it disappears into bellies so quickly..).

Thickly smear over the creme patissiere mixture.

Lay in the sticks of rhubarb and drizzle over a little of the orangey pan juices.

Tart, fin.

This tart is so utterly delicious, and in my mind, best served at room temperature with a little extra of the shop bought custard on the side. Tart, sweet, crisp and creamy all in one mouthful!

I'd love to hear if you give this one a go! I think rhubarb is a sensational fruit, and is bang in season at the mo. It's my favourite over my lemon ricotta pancakes too - mm mmm.



C H E A T S  //

There's no shame in buying shop bought pastry. A good shortcrust like this one will result in just-as-tasty a tart! Just line and bake in the same way.

For the creme pat filling, I've another cheat! Just heat up two of these little tubs of bog standard custard you might've had as a child in a saucepan, with a heaped tsp of cornflour (slaked with water) until it's thick and gloopy. Once cool, mix half and half with the shop bought custard from above (which just to confuse matters even further is just a mixture of creme anglais and whipped cream), and it's a really similar result. I even quite like the hint of childhood 'Bird's Custard Powder' you get from it.

H O W   T O ' S  //


I make my pastry in a food processor. Sift the flour and salt into the processor, before adding the cubed, cold butter.

Pulse until it resembles sandy rubble.

Add a tbsp of ice cold water and bring together with your fingers to form a dough.

Wrap in cling and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. (The recipe I use comes with a detailed method, which is always useful if you're struggling a tad!)

Creme Patissiere:

Bring the milk and vanilla to the boil in a saucepan and remove from the heat.

In a bowl, mix the sugar, egg yolks and flours until thoroughly incorporated.

Pour 1/3 of the warmed milk over the egg mixture and whisk vigorously.

Pour the egg mixture into the milk pan and continue to whisk over a medium heat.

Cook until the mixture boils and thickens, stirring so it doesn't catch on the bottom.

Remove from the heat, cover with cling so it doesn't form a skin, and cool.