Rhubarb and vanilla tart
Rhubarb and vanilla curd tart

Our local garden centre sells all sorts of exotic food.  It’s filled with exciting jars and packets full of chutneys, biscuits and weird and wonderful teas.  A brilliant place to go to pick up an unusual gift for friends and relatives.  Last time I was there, I spotted a jar of vanilla curd.  One of my favourite things in the whole world, is vanilla so I was intrigued.  However, I didn’t buy it, instead I rushed home to make my own.

Vanilla Curd

Ingredients

  • 225g caster sugar
  • 2 tbls cornflour
  • 2 vanilla beans, halved, split and scraped
  • 250ml water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a medium pan, combine sugar, cornflour, vanilla beans and seeds.
  2. Add water and cook over medium heat for approx 10 minutes, or until thickened.
  3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks.
  4. Whisking constantly, pour a quarter of the hot sugar mixture onto egg yolks
  5. Pour the add egg yolk and sugar mixture back into the medium pan, whisking to combine thoroughly.
  6. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  7. Remove vanilla beans from curd and stir in vanilla extract.
  8. Cool slightly then spoon the curd into a sterilised jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Sweet pastry

Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 90g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. Put the flour, butter, sugar and salt into a food processor and mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the eggs and continue to mix until the pastry comes together.
  3. Tip out onto cling film, wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

Roasted rhubarb

Ingredients

Rhubarb straight from the garden
Rhubarb, straight from the garden
  • 400g rhubarb
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tbls caster sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 110°C.
  2. Chop the rhubarb into lengths of approx 4″ then spread in a single layer in a large roasting tin.
  3. Sprinkle over the orange zest and caster sugar.
  4. Roast for approx 30 minutes until just starting to soften.
  5. Remove the rhubarb, add some water to deglaze the roasting pan.  Boil to thicken slightly and reserve.

Assembling and baking the tarts

Tarts ready for the oven
Tarts ready for the oven

You will need

  • 6 x tart tins approx 1ocm (or make one large tart)
  • Sweet pastry
  • Vanilla curd
  • Roasted rhubarb
  • Reserved rhubarb cooking liquid
  • Icing sugar
  1. Heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Grease 6 small tart tins.
  3. Roll out the pastry to approx 3mm thick on a lightly floured surface and cut out 6 rounds slightly bigger than the tins.
  4. Gently the place the pastry rounds inside the tins and lightly press in place ensuring that it is level with the top.
  5. Spoon sufficient vanilla curd into each tart case until it is a couple of mm from the top.
  6. Lay the roasted rhubarb on top.
  7. Using the reserved liquid from the rhubarb, brush the tops of the tarts including the pastry.
  8. Place on a baking sheet in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until the vanilla curd has puffed up and the pastry is a lovely golden brown.
  9. Dust with sifted icing sugar and enjoy hot or cold.
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