Baking

Rhubarb & Custard Tarts

30th March 2020

Farmdrop Chef Gemma Scott brings a step by step guide on how to make these wonderfully more-ish rhubarb and custard tarts!

Makes 6 tarts

Time: 1 hour plus chilling time

What you’ll need: a food processor, rolling pin and 6 tartlet tins.

These tarts are a British take on French patisserie, with a classic sweet shortcrust pastry and a creamy, custardy filling topped with seasonal poached rhubarb and syrup. A delicious way to learn how to make pâte sucrée pastry and crème pâtissière.

Forced rhubarb is in season now, with the main crop available until early Autumn. Replace the rhubarb with any fresh fruit and they will be equally delicious!

Ingredients

Pastry 

  • 125g plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 62g unsalted butter, softened
  • 62g caster sugar
  • 2 small egg yolks
  • 1-2 drops vanilla extract

Rhubarb

  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 400g rhubarb – ends trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces

Custard filling

  • 100ml milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 15g caster sugar
  • 5g plain flour
  • 5g cornflour
  • A couple of drops vanilla extract
  • 150ml double cream 

Method

Pastry 

  1. In a food processor blitz the butter and sugar, add the yolks and vanilla and blitz until just combined.
  2. Add the flour, blitz to breadcrumb consistency, then bring together with your hands, wrap in clingfilm and shape into a small log. Chill 20-30 minutes.
  3. Cut into 6 equal disks, on a floured surface roll out to 2mm thick then line 6 tartlet tins (carefully make sure the pastry is in the corners and roll over the top with your rolling pin to get clean edges, clearing away the excess pastry).
  4. Freeze/chill until firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190C, blind bake (with baking paper that covers the edges of the pastry, and baking beans) until the sides are holding themselves up and cooked.
  6. Remove the paper and baking beans and cook for another 5 minutes until the bases are dry and sandy.
  7. Cool a little in the tin then very carefully remove from the cases to cool completely- use the tip of a sharp knife to release any pastry that’s got stuck to the tin.

Rhubarb

  1. Dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat. When it’s all dissolved and bubbling add the rhubarb pieces and simmer until softening at the edges. 
  2. Lift out of sugar syrup with a slotted spoon and leave to cool in a single layer in a flat dish
  3. Keep boiling the sugar syrup until it’s thickened and a drizzleable consistency, transfer into a jar or other container and leave to cool. If it gets too thick once cooled, add a little cold water and mix well.  

Filling: 

First make the crème pâtissière base: 

  1. Heat the milk in a pan over a medium heat until steaming.
  2. Mix the egg yolk and sugar in a medium bowl, add a splash of the hot milk, then the flours, then when mixed gradually add the rest of the milk.
  3. Return the mix to the pan and over a low-medium heat bring to the boil, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. It’ll go lumpy but keep stirring. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Put the custard in a bowl, add the vanilla extract and cover with clingfilm on the surface of the custard to stop a skin forming. Set aside to cool.
  5. Once cool, blitz in a food processor until soft and smooth.
  6. Lightly whip the double cream to soft peaks then fold into the custard.

To assemble, spoon the custard mix into the cooled pastry shells, top with rhubarb and a drizzle of syrup. Serve immediately. 

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