Rhubarb and Orange Custard Tart

I love the spring and the rhubarb season.  If you have young rhubarb then this is by far the best for this recipe because there is no pre-cooking of the fruit.  You will need a 23cm loose bottomed flan tin and serve this tart warm or cold, with cream, ice cream or just on its own.


Preheat the oven to 190 degrees c


Start by making the pastry.  Rub the flour and fat together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs then add the egg and water mix, stir with a knife then use the hands to bring together to a ball.  .  Wrap the dough in greaseproof paper and chill for at least half an hour before rolling out.

Alternatively, place the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor with the blade attached. Add the chilled butter and blitz for just a few seconds until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running add the egg and water mix (or just water) and allow the machine to bring the dough to a ball. Remove from the machine, wrap and chill for at least half an hour.

Once the pastry has rested roll out to a thickness of a £1 coin then line the greased tart tin allowing surplus pastry to overhang the edges of the tin.  Prick the base then chill for 15 minutes.  Line with paper and baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes.  Remove the paper and beans then pop the case back into the oven for a further five minutes to allow the base to completely dry out and colour.

Take from the oven and whilst still warm trim the edges of the tart using a serrated knife then set aside and make the filling.  Reduce the oven temperature to 170 degrees.

Arrange the cut rhubarb and orange zest over the base of the pastry tart.

Whisk together the sugar and eggs then add the crème fraiche, single or double cream and vanilla.  Pour this over the rhubarb then arrange an orange segment (8 in total) around the outside edge of the tart.  Bake at 170 degrees for 25-30 minutes until set and lightly coloured.

Take from the oven and allow to cool then just before serving dust with icing sugar.

For extra decoration –  Crisp up some rhubarb by strimming off lengths from a stick of rhubarb with a vegetable peeler, placing in a pan with 100ml water and 50g sugar and a little red food colour.  Boil for 2-3 minutes until softened then arrange on non stick –paper and allow to dry out in a very low oven (80 degrees) for about 1 hour until crispy.  These will store in an airtight container until required if you want to make them ahead.

NB – to segment an orange.  With a very sharp knife remove both ends of an orange.  Then stand the orange with one flat end on a chopping board and carefully remove the skin and pith leaving the flesh.  Do this by cutting to the contour of the orange so that you don’t lose the orange shape. Then hold the orange in the left hand and remove the segments by cutting between the membrane lines left and right.  The segments need to be free of skin, pith and membrane.

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