Rhubarb and Custard Tart

Tis the rhubarb season, and everyone loves a bit of crumble with custard. So I’ve made a full-size, GF tart with a nutty crust, soft & sweetened rhubarb both chunked and in a sauce, with a luxurious baked custard. You like cream with your crumble? You can add that, too!

The nut crust is gluten-free and dairy-free; the custard uses cornflour so is also GF.

Serves: up to 16

Ingredients
For the crust:

  • 100g plain gluten-free flour
  • 40g porridge oats
  • 65g ground almonds
  • 65g very finely chopped pecans
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons maple, agave, or golden syrup; runny honey will do as well
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the rhubarb:

  • 600g rhubarb, scrubbed, and cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1 small orange, juice only (or, 1 clementine or satsuma)
  • 100g caster sugar (white or golden)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 30g caster sugar (white or golden)

For the custard:

  • 4 large eggs, yolks only (eggs should be 62-67g each when weighed whole in the shell)
  • 400ml double cream (400g if weighing)
  • 60g caster sugar (white or golden)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg (or 2-3 seconds’ freshly grated)

For the garnish:

  • Pinch of ground nutmeg (or 2-3 seconds’ freshly grated)
  • A few pinches of demerara or other large-grained sugar
  • 100ml (100g if weighing) double cream (optional)

Kit

  • A 23-25cm (9-10″) diameter fluted, round, loose-bottomed tart/flan tin; at least 3cm deep
  • 2 mixing bowls (M & L); plus 3 small bowls for rhubarb pieces, cooked juices, and rhubarb sauce
  • A medium/large, heavy-bottomed saucepan
  • A chopping board and sharp knife
  • A food processor (if you don’t want to finely chop the pecans by hand)
  • A citrus juicer
  • A sieve
  • A stick blender
  • A manual whisk
  • A cooling rack
  • Squeezy bottle or piping bag (optional for sauce garnish; a teaspoon is perfectly fine)

Steps
Making the Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C (170 C fan-assisted).
  2. Mix all crust ingredients together in a large bowl with a fork until fully moistened and combined. Press into the tin, ensuring the crust goes 3cm (1.25″) up the sides, and is evenly thin all over. Prick all over lightly with a fork, and bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the tin to a cooling rack.
  3. Turn the oven down to 150 C (130 C fan-assisted).

Making the Rhubarb

  1. Put 400g of the chopped rhubarb into a saucepan. Add the orange juice and 100g sugar, and cook over a medium heat 8 minutes or so, stirring carefully so as not to break up the pieces.
    You want them to be so soft that a fork runs through them easily, but they hold their shape and aren’t mushy.
  2. Take the pot off the heat. Pour the contents through a sieve into a bowl, retaining the juice, and put the strained pieces in another bowl.
  3. Put the rest of the rhubarb (200g) in the same pot with the cinnamon, strained juices, and 30g sugar; bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and leave to hard-simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb is very soft. Take off the heat and use a stick blender to create a thick sauce. Set aside.

Making the Custard, and Baking

  1. Manually whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl.
  2. Put the cream, caster sugar, cornflour, vanilla, and nutmeg into a pot on the hob on a high heat. Whisk together well. Make sure you continually drag the whisk over the bottom and around the sides of the pan, until the mixture comes to the boil (just a few minutes).
  3. As soon as it comes to the boil, take the pan off the heat. Add the hot cream mixture to the whisked egg yolks one large dessert spoonful at a time, whisking briskly to avoid scrambling, for 3-4 spoonfuls. Then pour the rest of the hot cream in and continue whisking madly until it’s very smooth.
  4. Shake the excess liquid off the rhubarb pieces and place in the base of the nut crust. Pour 1/3 of the custard over, then transfer the tin to the oven. Pour the rest of the custard over here – this helps to avoid slopping custard everywhere when transferring a full tin to the oven.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes. Grate/sprinkle nutmeg over, and scatter some demerara sugar over. Turn the tin, and bake for another 20 minutes or so, until the centre is still just slightly wobbly (it will continue cooking whilst cooling).
  6. Remove the tin from the oven, and leave on a cooling rack until fully cooled and well-set before turning out.

Garnish Options

  1. After 15 minutes’ baking, blob / splatter / pipe the rhubarb sauce over the top, grate/sprinkle nutmeg over, and scatter some demerara sugar over. Turn the tin, and bake for another 20 minutes or so.
  2. As per Kate Henry (see Attributions below), I opted to bake the rhubarb sauce into the tart. You could, if you prefer, use the whole 600g rhubarb cooked in pieces in the base of the tart, and forego the swizzle altogether.
  3. Or, you could garnish each individual serving with rhubarb sauce, instead of/with some double cream if you like.

Unused Egg Whites
As with all custards, you’re going to have leftover egg whites. These can be stored in sealed containers either in the fridge (about a week) or in the freezer (a month or so).
Ensure you label your container with date stored and number of whites, and leave to defrost and come up to room temperature before using – ideally, on the countertop overnight.

Making meringues is easy and they’re very ‘wow’ for desserts or for charity bakes.

Or, make these Amaretti biscuits.

Attributions
This is an alternative take on my Mini Baked Custard Tarts. I researched quite a few recipes for ideas on how to incorporate the rhubarb; Kate Henry’s from GBBO and BBC Good Food‘s were inspirations.

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