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.
- 225g caster sugar
- 2 tbls cornflour
- 2 vanilla beans, halved, split and scraped
- 250ml water
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a medium pan, combine sugar, cornflour, vanilla beans and seeds.
- Add water and cook over medium heat for approx 10 minutes, or until thickened.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks.
- Whisking constantly, pour a quarter of the hot sugar mixture onto egg yolks
- Pour the add egg yolk and sugar mixture back into the medium pan, whisking to combine thoroughly.
- Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
- Remove vanilla beans from curd and stir in vanilla extract.
- Cool slightly then spoon the curd into a sterilised jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
- 250g plain flour
- 125g unsalted butter
- 90g caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- Put the flour, butter, sugar and salt into a food processor and mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the eggs and continue to mix until the pastry comes together.
- Tip out onto cling film, wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
- 400g rhubarb
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2 tbls caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 110°C.
- Chop the rhubarb into lengths of approx 4″ then spread in a single layer in a large roasting tin.
- Sprinkle over the orange zest and caster sugar.
- Roast for approx 30 minutes until just starting to soften.
- Remove the rhubarb, add some water to deglaze the roasting pan. Boil to thicken slightly and reserve.
Assembling and baking the tarts
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
- Heat the oven to 180C.
- Grease 6 small tart tins.
- Roll out the pastry to approx 3mm thick on a lightly floured surface and cut out 6 rounds slightly bigger than the tins.
- Gently the place the pastry rounds inside the tins and lightly press in place ensuring that it is level with the top.
- Spoon sufficient vanilla curd into each tart case until it is a couple of mm from the top.
- Lay the roasted rhubarb on top.
- Using the reserved liquid from the rhubarb, brush the tops of the tarts including the pastry.
- 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.
- Dust with sifted icing sugar and enjoy hot or cold.