French rhubarb tart

French rhubarb tart

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 40 mins Plus cooling and chilling

A challenge

Serves 8
Take your time with this pretty in pink dessert and you'll have a fruit pie worthy of any Parisian patisserie shop window

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal447
  • fat28g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs41g
  • sugars18g
  • fibre3g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.3g
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    For the rhubarb

    • 700g thin forced rhubarb, ends trimmed



      Botanically, rhubarb is a vegetable (it's related to sorrel and dock) but its thick, fleshy…

    • 1 vanilla pod, seeds removed and reserved
    • 50g caster sugar
    • juice ½ lemon



      Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

    For the pastry

    • 225g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
    • 25g ground almond
    • 2 tbsp icing sugar
    • 140g cold butter, cubed



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 1 large egg yolk

    For the creme patisserie

    • 250ml whole milk
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 2 tbsp caster sugar
    • 1 tbsp cornflour
    • 1 tbsp plain flour
    • 100ml double cream


    1. Cut the rhubarb into 10.5cm batons, using pieces that are roughly the same width. Put the vanilla pod, sugar, lemon juice and 300ml water (or enough to just cover the rhubarb) in a wide frying pan or shallow casserole set over a low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the rhubarb and simmer for 5 mins. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the syrup, preferably overnight, or for at least 1 hr. This way your rhubarb should be perfectly cooked, but still hold its shape.

    2. To make the pastry, put the flour, almonds, sugar and butter in a food processor. Blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add the egg yolk and dribble in 1-2 tbsp cold water. Tip onto a work surface and knead briefly to bring the mixture together to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins.

    3. While your pastry chills, make the crème patisserie. Heat the milk and reserved vanilla seeds in a pan set over a medium heat until nearly boiling. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and flours together in a large bowl until pale. Continue whisking while you pour the hot milk over the egg mixture. Wipe out the saucepan and strain the liquid back into the pan through a sieve. Set over a medium-low heat and stir continuously until the mixture has a thick custard consistency. Scrape into a clean bowl, cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin from forming and chill for at least 1 hr or up to 2 days.

    4. Remove the pastry from the fridge. If it is a little hard, leave it at room temperature to soften for 10 mins or so. Roll out to 1mm thick on a lightly floured surface. Use the pastry to line a 12 x 35cm fluted rectangular tart tin, making sure you press the pastry into the fluted edges (you can use the blunt end of a knife to help you do this). Leave any excess pastry overhanging. Chill for 30 mins.

    5. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Remove the pastry case from the fridge, line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Blind-bake for 20 mins, then remove the parchment and beans, and continue baking for 8 mins more until pale golden and biscuity. Use a sharp serrated knife to trim off the overhanging pastry to give you a clean edge. Cool in the tin.

    6. Remove the rhubarb pieces from their syrup and set aside. Return the syrup to the hob and boil until thick and sticky. Leave to cool slightly. To finish the crème patisserie, whisk the cream until it holds soft peaks and fold this into the chilled mixture. This is easier if you start by beating in a little cream and then folding in the remaining.

    7. Remove the pastry case from the tin and put on a plate. Fill with the crème patisserie and smooth over the surface. Carefully line up the rhubarb down the length of the tart case, trying to fit them in quite snugly. Use a pastry brush to glaze the tart with the rhubarb syrup. Chill for 30 mins before serving. This tart will keep for 3 days in the fridge, however it is best eaten on the day it is made.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    16th Jun, 2020
    Do NOT use the creme pat recipe here. The other comments are true, it’s utterly useless. Feel like I’ve wasted the best part of two days on what has turned into a soupy mess in average pastry.
    29th Apr, 2018
    This recipe takes a long time! I was in no hurry so wasn't being particularly speedy but this takes at least 2.5hours to make. I agree with comments below about the consistency of the creme pat - a bit too runny but did taste nice. The pastry was a little tasteless... you couldn't tell there was any almonds in there at all and I think that would have massively added to the tart which could do with a bit more of a kick of vanilla in the creme pat. Not a disaster but for the time and faff and how pretty it looks in the end, it doesn't taste quite as good!
    20th May, 2015
    The tart looks great and the pastry is really nice but definitely use a different crème patisserie recipe. I whipped the cream very well before adding it to crème patisserie mixture but the mixture was just too runny and would have ruined the pastry. In the end I had to recook and rechill the mixture which meant that the whole tart took hours to make.
    22nd Dec, 2013
    I had no problems with the creme patisserie or the rhubarb or the glaze, but the pastry was too rich. Firstly it was impossible to roll out, yes I did leave it in the fridge to cool but it fell to pieces a number of times. No problem I pieced it together bit honestly for all the phaffing around a normal shortcrust pastry with a bit of sugar would have worked just as well. Thanks for posting it.
    13th May, 2013
    I thought this recipe was delicious. Since double cream is very difficult to get in France, or so I am told, perhaps creme fraiche would be more authentic? I used this and found it very successful with none of the problems that others have had with runny cream. The creme fraiche also complements nicely both the sweetness of the custard and the bitterness of the rhubarb. I was worried my glaze would not set but perhaps I used too much? In the end it was fine but I left the tarte to chill for the best part of the day in order to achieve this. Thanks for a great recipe - I will try adapting it with other fruits now.
    3rd May, 2013
    I had the same problem with the setting, definitely whipped the cream but it didn't set firmly enough to hold the rhubarb, ending with the tart running across the plate when cut, it tasted lovely all the same. Maybe it's different thoughts of what a thick custard consistency should look like and more time should be spent on the hob? I will definitely try it again and go with longer on the hob to see if it makes a difference.
    21st Apr, 2013
    There are some issues with this recipe, mainly the cream mixture. When I had put the tart together and the time came to slice it, because the cream is not thick enough it kind of collapsed, and I definitely whipped the double cream before adding it to the creme pat. I would think freezing the tart with the cream mixture in it (kind of semi fredo style) and then add the rhubarb might work better. Also you need to watch the rhubarb while its cooking like a hawk, as it has a tendency to disintegrate. The tart still tasted good though.
    CassieBest's picture
    2nd Apr, 2013
    Hi Kat, did you whip the cream before adding it to the creme pat? The whipped cream lightens the filling but should not make it runny. Hope you have more luck if you decide to try again.
    10th Mar, 2013
    This has the potential to be a lovely recipe - I particuarly like the wa the rhubarb is prepared, completely delicious! The creme pattisserie, however, is a total flop. Adding cream at the end just unsets the mixture and the entire thing just warms up as you work it in. I would suggest using a more "traditional" creme pat method with this tart. But otherwise a lovely recipe.
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