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Rhubarb Custard Tart


Rhubarb tart after cooling overnight


Pie crust for a single crust pie

  • 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons, 4 oz., 113 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sugar
  • pinch of salt (or use salted butter)
  • about 4 tablespoons cold water

Measure the flour, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Slice the butter in on top, and then cut in the butter using the paddle attachment of a mixer (my favorite) or a pastry blender, or your fingers, or two knives, until you have a mealy looking mixture. With the mixer running, or while mixing with a fork, drizzle in the water by tablespoons, mixing just until it’s starting to come together – stop mixing before it forms a ball. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap (or the pastry cloth that you’ll use to roll it out on) and refrigerate for 20 minutes, to as long as a week (plastic wrap recommended for longer storage).


  • 3/4 to 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch, or slightly smaller, pieces (the original recipe said 2-inch – that’s too big)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 eggs, one separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (or use 1 cup creme fraiche, in place of both the cream & sour cream)

While the pie dough chills, combine the rhubarb, brown sugar, and vanilla pod in a glass baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes at 375°, until the rhubarb is tender, but not mush. Turn into a strainer to drain the juice and set aside. Leave the oven at 375°

Roll out the pie dough and fit it into a 9-inch tart tin with a removable bottom, or a 9-inch flan ring. Place a sheet of parchment or foil over the crust, and fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights, and bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the paper and beans, prick the crust all over with a fork, and return it to the oven to bake until it is pale and dry, but not browned – about 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven, and brush with egg white to seal. Leave the oven at 375°

Beat together the cornstarch, egg, egg yolk, and sugar. Slowly add the cream and sour cream, and beat until smooth. Arrange the roasted rhubarb in the crust, and pour the custard over. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the custard is set but still a little wobbly in the middle.

Cool in the pan, and try not to drop the tart, before serving in slices. Best the day it is made.

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