Monday, June 9, 2014

Rhubarb and Custard Tart with Cream Cheese topping - yes please!!

Growing up in England Rhubarb and Custard used to be a regular pudding in spring - and I just loved my stewed rhubarb and custard so imagine my delight when my friend and brilliant food blogger Christina at Christina's Cucina posted a recipe for Rhubarb and Custard Bars from Taste of Home on her Facebook page - I knew I had to make it. I ended up making the recipe three times as I halved the size of the Taste of Home RECIPE and made it in a 9" tart pan - it was good, very creamy and delicious but I wanted more custard - so I made it in the same size pan but a deeper one - and that was really good too but I still needed more custard so then I went for a 7.5" x 2" deep pan, and decided to use my Easy Peasy crust instead of the very simple crust in the original recipe which indeed was very simple, and very very good, but I found it hard to squush into the tart pan - it kept sticking to my hands and coming back off the pan so I did this crust instead - it's lovely and again a no roll out crust - you squush this one into the pan too.

EASY PEASY SWEET TART CRUST:


Pre heat oven to 325F
Enough for one tart case 9” shallow or my 7.5 x 2" deep pie pan.

1 1/2 cups/6ozs of unbleached white flour 

1/2 cup/2ozs confectioners/icing sugar 

1 stick + 1 tablespoon/ 4 1/2ozs butter VERY COLD 

1 large egg yolk

1. Sift dry ingredients together into a medium sized bowl. 

2. Grate the butter into the dry ingreds., and rub in until like breadcrumbs.
 3. Add egg yolk and blend and squush carefully until the dough sticks together. This may take a little time but despair not it will come together - just don't let it warm up - pie crusts pastry should always be kept as cold as possible to make it flaky and divine. 

4. Tear dough into big chunks…..place strategically in pie pan and start squushing to a create a smooth even covering of the entire pan…the beauty of this crust is that it does NOT shrink at all…it stays put…good crust!!...and it tastes like a really good shortbread…yum!!

5. Bob into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

6. Remove from the fridge and prick the pastry all over with a fork - this is to prevent bubbles forming when you bake. Next I lined the pastry with parchment paper and weighed it down with black eyed peas - you can use beans or pie weights but don't go down the road of popcorn as I did once - you can guess at those results.
6. Bake for about 15 minutes, remove from the oven, genteely lift the paper and weight from the shell and bob pastry back into the oven for about another 15 minutes - don't worry when you take the weights out if the pastry looks soggy and sad - it will improve by the next time you take it out of the oven :))


Keep your eyes peeled - you want the crust to be evenly baked but not browned. Keep your oven on at 325F.

Now assemble your pie ingredients:
4.5oz/2 1/2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
 
6oz/ scant 3/4 cup of sugar
 
6 fl oz/ 3/4 cup heavy/double cream
 
3 medium sized eggs
 
1 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract
 
4 tablespoons white flour
 
1. Whisk flour and sugar together
 
2. Add eggs and whisk then add the cream and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
 
3. Spread the rhubarb evenly on the bottom of the pie crust:
4. Gently pour the custard over - you can fill the crust right the way up, this filling does not expand much:
5. Bob into your pre heated 325F oven and bake for about 45mins - I over baked mine becaue I wanted it to be completely cooked and it made the crust a little too brown and the filling a little too hard - so if it wobbles a bit in the middle that's OK if you don't mind it being a bit harder to cut and maybe even a bit runny - it tastes really good that way!
The top of the tart wasn't too attractive but no worries as we're going to cover it with lovely creamy cream cheese sweetness. So allow the tart to cool completely before adding this deliciousness to the top of your pie:

TOPPING: 
3oz cream cheese
 
1 1/2 ozs / scant 1/4 cup of sugar

2 fl oz/ 1/4 cup heavy/double cream whipped to stiff

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract
 
1. Beat the cream cheese until smooth
 
2. Add sugar and liquids and beat until smooth.
 
3. Fold in the whipped cream until smooth:
4. Then happily dollop atop your cooled tart:

This third tart did cut beautifully but it was just a tad too well baked - tasted great though!!
This pic below of the second tart I made which was shallower - I didn't bake it too long and as you can see it was still a bit soft at the middle - despite looking a bit soggy it did taste really good so I do suggest baking the tart less rather than more:

A close up of the lovely easy peasy tart crust - good and sturdy, reliable and very tasty like good shortbread.
This might be really good made with strawberries instead of rhubarb or with strawbs. and rhubarb, peaches, gooseberries, apricots or raspberries - I want to try them all!

This recipe is part of the The Great British Rhubarb Recipe Round Up at Lavender and Lovage and The Farmersgirl Kitchen
 
The poppies, lupines and iris have just started blooming in my neck of the Maine woods - they are such a beautiful sight to behold each late spring:
Lupine leaves in the dewy air



So Happy Baking everyone - if you make this tart please feel free to post pics of such on my FACEBOOK PAGE!

If you are interested in the background fabrics in these pictures you can find them as print on demand fabric, wallpaper, wrapping paper and wall decals in my online
SPOONFLOWER SHOP 
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