Rhubarb is probably my all time favourite vegetable. I adore the tart and mouthwatering taste that leaves you wanting more. I, like many I’m sure, tend to stick to the same old rhubarb recipes. In my case this involves a pork belly and rhubarb recipe from ‘Jamie at Home’ (http://bit.ly/7wCzQW) which is really a favourite of mine or if we’re talking dessert I always opt for a rhubarb crumble (with apple, rasperry or whatever fruit I happen to have in the flat). My only requirements are a high crumble to fruit ratio and a healthy spoonful of clotted cream on top (I do live in Devon after all).
Both of these recipes have happily lasted me for many years however last weekend my boyfriend’s mum sent us home with a very generous amount of rhubarb that she’d grown on her allotment – she knows how much I like it and she’s overwhelmed with rhubarb at this time of year. So I decided to branch out and began searching around for recipes. I found a James Martin recipe on BBC Food which I have adapted with success so I thought I’d share. This is definitely one for any lady, who like me has problems getting her other half to eat dessert because it’s ‘too sweet’ or ‘too rich’. I made two little tartlets with this recipe (but still have more than enough of everything left to make another couple at least!)400g Rhubarb 100g Golden Syrup 1 Vanilla Pod 250ml Full Fat Milk 70g Caster Sugar 3 Eggs (Yolks only) Cornflour (2 Tablespoons) Ready to Roll Puff Pasty (or if you’re feeling very brave you could make your own) Dash of apple juice
1) Start by chopping up the rhubarb into chunks of around 2 inches long. Then, split the portion of rhubarb in half (roughly). Place half of rhubarb into a pre-heated oven of 200c to roast with a little bit of water (100ml) and 100g of Golden Syrup and 1/2 of a vanilla pod, which should be split and the seeds scrapped out. Roast for 10-12 minutes or until the stems are tender (but not breaking up).
2) The other half of the rhubarb should go into a pan with a small amount of apple juice and sugar to taste. Heat this until the rhubarb has just started to break up (think the consistency of crumble).
3) Then for the custard, bring the milk and 1/2 vanilla pop to the boil. In a separate bowl mix the eggs and sugar. Once combined add the boiling milk and vanilla to the egg and sugar mixture and continue to mix until smooth. Put the mixture back in the saucepan and bring to a simmer and add the cornflour, whisking until no lumps remain (remember if you can’t get rid of the remaining lumps then you can always use a sieve to preserve your smooth custard mixture!). Once this is finished set aside and cover with cling film to stop a skin from forming. (Thank you to James Martin for that tip)
4) Now roll your puff pasty out and cut out 4 inch circles. I have cutters, for those who don’t you could try cutting around the bottom of a pasta bowl or a kitchen mug (although this will make your tarts considerably smaller). Once this is done then brush the pastry with egg wash (if you have an additional egg to hand).
5) Now for the assembly, take your custard mixture and place in the middle of the puff pastry circles (leaving around 1cm of pastry around the egde). Then place a spoonful of your rhubarb crumble mixture on top of the custard and then a few stalks of the rhubarb carefully place on top of that.
6) Transfer to a 220c preheated over to cook for 12 mins.
The result was thoroughly enjoyable. Just enough after a rich sausage pasta! The sharpness of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the custard were yummy.
Hope you’ll all give it a go. This is the first time I’ve ever posted a full recipe, so if I’ve missed something or you have any questions then do ask. Now I’ve got some egg whites spare – next recipe may be something meringue-esque.