There’s a few processes here but none are too difficult and it’s well worth the effort!
Now is the ideal time for it when British rhubarb and strawberry season overlap. When out of season you can use one or the other or whichever fruit you fancy.
250g plain white flour/spelt flour (spelt is a little nuttier)
50g ground almonds
190g unsalted butter, chilled
70g caster sugar
½ lemon zest
½ tsp tea salt
1 egg, beaten
500ml full fat milk
½ vanilla pod or 1sp vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
100g runny honey
4 sticks British rhubarb
½ punnet British strawberries
2-4 tbsp caster sugar
- Make the pastry. In a mixer or food processor, mix together the flour, almonds, sugar, lemon zest and salt. Cut the chilled butter into small cubes and add. Mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- With the mixer on slow, add the beaten egg until the pastry just starts coming together. If using a food processor be careful here as it’s very easy to overmix.
- Remove the pastry from the mixer, and on a floured surface, give a gentle knead just to finish bringing it together. It should be smooth with no cracks. Do not over knead (this is not a bread type knead!)
- Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Now move on to the crème pâtissière. Place the milk and vanilla in a small pan and bring to the boil. As soon as it reaches boiling point turn off.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, honey and cornflour with an electric whisk until pale.
- With the whisk running, slowly add the hot milk.
- Return the hot mixture to the pan, and keep over a low heat, whisking all the time. It will thicken gradually. Keep going until it coats a spoon really well and is just starting to bubble. Be careful of turning up the heat as the eggs could scramble.
- Transfer to a clean bowl and keep whisking until it has cooled slightly. Cover with cling film (pressed directly onto the mix- this stops a skin from forming) and chill well. (Tip for a lighter option, use half the quantity and fold in with equal quantities of Greek yoghurt when serving).
- Remove the pastry from the fridge, on a floured surface use a rolling pin to roll out until the thickness of a £1 coin.
- Carefully transfer to a 20cm tart tin. Allow the pastry to overhang the edges.
- Return to the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees. Line the pastry with cling film and fill with baking beans (or rice). Bake for around 10-15 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove the baking beans and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until the base it also cooked and golden (it needs to be fully cooked as is not cooked again).
- Allow the tart to cool and trim the edges.
- Now prepare your fruit. Trim the rhubarb and cut on the diagonal into 5cm strips. If it is a thick piece you might want to cut it vertically into two thin strips.
- Toss the rhubarb in some caster sugar (depending on how sweet you like it) and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Spread out on a baking tray and add a splash of water.
- Roast in the oven on 160 Degrees for about 10 minutes. It is ready when it is soft but still holding its shape.
- Repeat the process with the strawberries but they will only take about 5-7 minutes.
- If you are really keen you can drain off both the fruit juices into a small pan and reduce until syrupy for an extra garnish.
- Finally, assemble your tart! Pile the crème pâtissière into the tart case. Decorate with the roasted rhubarb and strawberries. You can garnish with some toasted flaked almonds, toasted oats or even a sprinkle of granola. Plus your syrup if you have it.