Rhubarb and custard tart
As a kid I remember hating rhubarb. My mum made rhubarb and ginger jam, rhubarb crumble, stewed rhubarb, the list goes on. I don’t remember liking any of them. However, now a more mature gent I love the stuff and this tart literally tastes like those sweets I remember hating as a youngster. Perfect. Be sure to use a vanilla pod rather than extract if you can justify the cost – just for the pretty black dots if nothing else.
Time: 1 hour
1 sheet ready to roll sweet shortcrust pastry
120g fresh rhubarb, cut into 2 cm chunks
170g caster sugar
1/2 vanilla pod, split
1/2 tbsp cornflour
1 large egg, beaten
150g crème fraîche, plus a little extra to serve
Firstly line two individual loose-bottomed tart tins with the pastry (I roll out the pastry thinner than it comes in the pack), prick all over and chill. Next use non-stick baking parchment and baking beans and blind bake at 170 degrees centigrade until cooked through but still quite pale. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further five to 10 minutes until the base is no longer translucent. Brush with a little egg white to seal.
In a single layer spread out rhubarb in an overproof dish or plate, sprinkle over 60g and the split vanilla pod of the sugar and cover. Bake in the over for 15-20 minutes soft but still holding its shape. Once cool enough to handle position in your cases, I didn’t mine standing to attention.
Reduce your oven temperature to 160 degrees centigrade. Make your custard by combining the remaining sugar with the cornflour then slowly whisk in the egg and crème fraîche. Whisk in the seeds from the vanilla pod you set aside earlier.
Carefully pour the custard into the tart cases. Bake until just set in the middle, about 20-25 minutes but keep an eye on them. If the oven is too hot the custard could split which you definitely don’t want.