So, if you're looking for some inspiration for a special pudding this weekend then why not try this tart with the classic flavours of rhubarb and custard. It's indulgent without being too sickly as the rhubarb provides a great bitter tang to the tart. Served with a little double cream, it's the perfect seasonal family dessert.
In order to keep the rhubarb looking lovely and pink and still holding its shape, (instead of the mushy brown rhubarb you're given for school dinners), I roast it, packed tightly in lines in the oven.
Sorry the photos are a bit rushed as my hungry guests couldn't wait any longer for pudding!
For the pastry:
170g unsalted cold butter
340g plain flour
3tbsp caster sugar
3-4 tbsp cold water
For the custard filling:
4 whole large eggs
150g caster sugar
500ml double cream
1tsp vanilla paste
For the rhubarb:
Approx. 550g big bunch of rhubarb
85g caster sugar
To start, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan.)
Wash the rhubarb and then chop it into equal thumb-size pieces. (You can peel the rhubarb if you wish to stop it being too stringy, but I like it without.)
Cover the dish with tin foil and then roast for around 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Then remove the foil and cook for another 5-10 minutes until tender but still holding its shape.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, add the cold butter, flour and caster sugar to a large mixing bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then add in the cold water a little at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together into a ball. Wrap the pastry in cling film and then chill in the fridge for around 15 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured work surface until about the thickness of a one pound coin. Grease a loose-bottomed tart tin and then carefully lift the pastry over the tin. You can do this by rolling the pastry over a rolling pin and then unrolling it over the tin. Using a small ball of excess pastry, carefully push the pastry into all the grooves in the side of the tin.
At this stage, leave any excess pastry hanging over the side of the tin and cover the tart with a sheet of baking paper. Then fill the tart with some baking beans and cook the pastry case in the oven for 15 minutes. I cook the tart on a heated baking tray to make sure the bottom of the pastry is cooked enough. After this, remove the baking paper and baking beans and return the pastry case to the oven for another 10 minutes until golden brown. Then remove from the oven and use a sharp knife to trim off the excess pastry.
Whilst the pastry is cooking, whisk the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla in a separate mixing bowl with an electric whisk until pale and thick. Add the milk and double cream to a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Then pour the hot milk and cream mixture over the eggs and sugar, whisking continuously until you have a smooth mixture. Strain the custard mixture into a jug through a sieve and then pour it into the tart case. Carefully return the tart to the oven and cook for 1 hour at 130 degrees C (fan) until set but with a slight wobble in the middle.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool completely and then chill in the fridge. When ready to serve, top the custard tart with the roasted rhubarb and the rhubarb syrup form the dish.
Serve with double cream.
Adapted from: http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/rhubarb-and-custard-crumble-tart