After making my Easter Rhubarb pie, I found myself in possession of some extra rhubarb. This is definitely my kind of “problem” to have.
One of my favourite things about rhubarb is its beautiful pink colour. It adds an easy beauty to any dessert you make with it, even if it’s just poached and topped on ice cream. I decided to take it up a notch, but each element of this tart is very simple. I made the tart dough the night before and then managed to complete the tart in 2 hours, not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night!
I definitely recommend making the tart in the order below as your crust can cool after cooking while you make the pastry cream and you can poach the rhubarb while the cream cools. I must say, the leftover rhubarb syrup is delicious boiled down for cocktails, ice cream or just dipping your finger in.
- 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1/3 cup almond meal
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1-2 tbsp of milk, if needed
To make the dough, cream butter and sea salt for about a minute. Add icing sugar and mix until combined, about one minute. Add nut meal and vanilla and mix until combined and uniform.
Add the egg and 1/2 cup of flour and beat at low speed until incorporated. Gradually add remaining flour and mix until dough comes together. If you find that the dough is too crumbly, add 1-2 tbsp of milk and mix until it just comes together. The dough will be soft.
Split into two halves and flatten each into a disc. Tightly wrap with plastic and chill for at least 4 hours (you can freeze the other disc for another use).
Remove from fridge and on a floured surface, roll into a rectangle to fit your tart pan. Gently slide the dough lengthwise (as in holding the short ends of the dough) onto a lightly greased 14×5 rectangular tart pan. I find this method ensures minimal dough breakage. Press dough into the tart pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F. Prick dough all over with a fork and line tightly with foil. Add pie weights (or dried beans or rice) on top of the foil and blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, remove foil and return to oven to bake for 3-5 minutes, until golden.
Cool crust completely.
Vanilla Pastry Cream
- Vanilla bean, beans scraped out (pod can be used for rhubarb, see below)
- 2 cups milk
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 6 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp butter
To make the cream, combine milk, vanilla beans and pod in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Bring just to a boil once more.
Meanwhile, whisk together sugar, arrowroot and egg yolks until combined (do not let yolks turn pale in colour).
Pour 1/3 of milk into mixture and whisk until combined (to temper the yolks). Then add remaining milk gradually, whisking constantly.
Strain mixture into saucepan and heat over medium heat until cream thickens, whisking constantly. The cream should have just about the consistency as the end result (like pastry cream in an eclair). Remove from heat and whisk in butter until smooth.
Spread cream onto a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap, and top with plastic wrap. Place in fridge until chilled completely. This method ensures it cools evenly and a skin doesn’t form on top.
- Rhubarb (I used just under a pound, you may want to customize depending on your tart size)
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds removed and set aside
- 3 tbsp sugar
- Water, enough to cover rhubarb
Cut rhubarb into stalks that will fit horizontally (or as desired) across your tart pan.
Combine lemon juice, vanilla pod and sugar in a shallow saucepan and add enough water to cover rhubarb. Stir to dissolve sugar, add rhubarb and bring to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Allow to cool in the syrup for at least 10-20 minutes, so it will be soft but still hold its shape.
Pour pastry cream into cooled tart shell, filling shell about 2/3 of the way. Carefully line up rhubarb in a row on top of the cream (or in your desired design). I brushed the rhubarb with some of the remaining syrup (and boiled down the rest for cocktails!)
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.