Rhubarb & custard tart

Rhubarb & custard tart

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(2 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 1 hr plus 4 1/2 hrs chilling

More effort

Serves 8

The flavour of everyone's favourite boiled sweet in a delicious dessert. Forced rhubarb adds a pop of colour and sweetness to this tart. Check out our rhubarb guide for more handy rhubarb facts

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal515
  • fat22g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs68g
  • sugars44g
  • fibre3g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.2g
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    For the pastry

    • 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    • 3 tbsp icing sugar
    • 140g unsalted butter, diced and chilled



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

    • 1 medium egg yolk, plus 1 medium egg yolk beaten, for glazing (save the whites for meringues)
    • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

    For the vanilla custard

    • ½ vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
    • 250ml whole milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    • 1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 100g golden caster sugar
    • 25g cornflour
    • 1 tbsp unsalted butter



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

    For the roasted rhubarb

    • 700g thin forced rhubarb (about 5 stalks), trimmed, rinsed and cut into 9cm/3 ½ in-long pieces



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

    • 175g golden caster sugar
    • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out, or 1 tsp vanilla paste
    • juice 2 oranges



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

    • 1 tbsp pistachio, chopped, to serve


    1. Put the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix together. Add the butter and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 1 egg yolk, the vanilla and 1 tbsp cold water, and mix together until it just starts to come together as a dough. Tip the mixture onto a clean work surface and gently bring together with your hands. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 1 hr before rolling out. Can be made 3 days ahead, or frozen for 2 months.

    2. Put the vanilla beans scraped from the pod (or the paste) in a pan over a medium-high heat, add the milk and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, tip the egg, yolks, sugar and cornflour into a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking to combine. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook, whisking constantly, for 2-3 mins until thickened. Scrape into a bowl and add the butter, mixing until melted and combined. Press a sheet of cling film onto the surface of the custard to stop a skin forming, and chill for 3 hrs. Can be made and chilled 3 days ahead.

    3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a large rectangle big enough to line a 30 x 20cm fluted rectangular tart tin. Roll the pastry onto the rolling pin and carefully drape it into the tin, carefully lifting and pressing into the corners and edges. Roll your rolling pin over the tart tin, cutting off the excess. Chill for 30 mins or until the pastry is firm.

    4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line the tart with a piece of crumpled baking parchment and fill with baking beans or rice and place on a baking tray. Bake for about 30 mins, then remove the parchment and the beans, and return to the oven for another 5 mins or until the base is golden brown. Brush the inside of the tart with the remaining beaten egg yolk and return to the oven for 1 min to set (this creates a seal, meaning the pastry won’t become soggy as quickly). Set aside to cool.

    5. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Put the rhubarb batons in a small roasting tin (so that they are in one flat layer) and sprinkle over the sugar, the vanilla pod and its scraped out seeds, and the orange juice. Roast for 15-20 mins, or until the rhubarb has softened but is still holding its shape and a vibrant pink syrup has formed. Remove from the oven, discard the vanilla pod and allow to cool.

    6. Remove the custard from the fridge, beat to loosen, then pour over the pastry and smooth with a spatula. Top with the roasted rhubarb, brushing a little of the syrup on top, then sprinkle over the pistachios. Best eaten on the day its made.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    sassassassas's picture
    19th Nov, 2017
    I was told to enter "Bake Off" after serving this at a dinner party! It's not your everyday pudding because it is time consuming - you need to make three components, each of which have multiple stages with chilling time in between. I made the pastry in my magimix the day before and then made made a few changes - I added the grated zest of half an orange to the custard as it was a little bland otherwise I reduced the amount of sugar used to roast the rhubarb as the quantity seemed way too much. I then reduced the cooking liquid to make a thick syrup and I poured that over the finished tart. I doubled up on vanilla in both the custard and the rhubarb. I made it in a thin rectangular tin so each portion was one slice and served it with a sprinkling of pistachios, orange segments, a small spoonful of quality creme fraiche and a drizzle of the rhubarb syrup. It looked very special :)
    RosieVimes's picture
    30th Mar, 2016
    Such a beautiful dessert, both taste wise & visually. I made some of the components a day ahead to save time. The end result was delicious.
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