Yorkshire Rhubarb & Custard Tarts

Yorkshire Rhubarb & Custard Tarts

Yorkshire rhubarb is one of my favourite ingredients and any excuse to make a dish with it does not need a second invitation from me. This recipe features in my second book tarts and pies and is a dish I have used in live competitions at the British open cookery championships. The very best rhubarb is the exceptional quality one available from Yorkshire from around this time of year to March. If you cannot get hold of Yorkshire rhubarb the pink imported stuff from Holland is a reasonable substitute. This dish has a few tasks but the resultant dish is wonderful and takes rhubarb and custard to a new level. Do try it the flavours and textures are heavenly.

Sweet Pastry

Makes about 600g

300g plain flour
180g unsalted butter
70g icing sugar
0.2g (pinch) salt
1 medium egg
1g (¼ tsp) vanilla extract
large pinch finely grated lemon zest (optional)

1. Sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.
2. Cut the butter into 2cm pieces and add to the dry ingredients.
3. Using your fingers mix the butter with the dry ingredients to coat.
4. Using the beater attachment mix the ingredients together.
5. When the ingredients are almost sticking together turn off the machine.
6. Run your fingers through the ingredients to loosen.
7. Add the egg, lemon zest and vanilla and mix to a smooth paste.
8. Place onto the table and knead for a few seconds until smooth.
9. Wrap in cling fi lm and place into the fridge to chill for 1 hour.


Neutral Glaze

Makes about 500g

200g glucose
150g water
100g caster sugar
15g pectin
8g citric acid or 20g lemon juice
few drops orange flavour
few drop vanilla lemon flavour
few drops vanilla extract

1. Place the water into a pan.
2. Add the glucose.
3. Mix the sugar and pectin together and add to the pan.
4. Whisk the contents up to the boil.
5. Cook out gently for 3-4 minutes.
6. Add the flavours and lemon juice or citric acid then whisk in.
7. Remove from the heat.
8. Scrape into a clean container and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
9. Cover the glaze and place into the fridge.

The Recipe

Make 8 x 10cm cooked sweet pastry tart shells from pastry recipe above

400g whipping cream
2 vanilla pods
5 egg yolks
80g caster sugar
200g (approximately) forced Yorkshire rhubarb
50g caster sugar for the rhubarb

1. Cut the ends off the rhubarb and cut the stalks into 8cm batons.
2. Wash the rhubarb batons, shake off the water and place into a ceramic dish.
3. Cut one of the vanilla pods in half then split lengthways and lay on the rhubarb.
4. Sprinkle some caster sugar over the rhubarb to taste, I use 50g.
5. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 130˚C for 30-40 minutes or until just tender.
6. Leave to cool at room temperature then place into the fridge to chill.
7. For the custard cut the remaining vanilla pod in half and split lengthways.
8. Place the vanilla into a small pan and add the cream, then bring up to the boil.
9. Place the yolks into a bowl then add the sugar, whisk together immediately.
10. When the cream boils add about one third to the yolks and sugar and whisk in.
11. Add the remainder of the cream and whisk in, then strain the custard into a jug.
12. Remove the rhubarb from the dish and cut into small pieces.
13. Place the cooked tart shells onto a large baking tray.
14. Place the cut rhubarb into the tart shells (I put about 5-6 pieces per shell).
15. Pour the custard into the tart shells as close to the top as you dare.
16. Bake in the oven at 130˚C for 12-15 minutes or until lightly set.
17. Leave to cool on the tray until tepid, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
18. Meanwhile strain the juice from the rhubarb into a pan and bring up to the boil.
19. Reduce the rhubarb juice until just under half left.
20. Add some clear glaze and bring to the boil adding water if necessary.
21. Brush the tarts twice with hot thin glaze until well covered.

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