Enjoy the first of the rhubarb with naturally sweet and juicy British strawberries spooned over a rich, creamy vanilla custard and buttery melt in the mouth shortbread style pastry case.
Prep: 30 minutes
Chill: 15 minutes plus several hours
Cook: 29-40 minutes
250g (9oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) icing sugar
100g (4oz) butter at room temperature, diced
2 egg yolks
1-11/2 tablespoons cold water
2 egg yolks
25g (1oz) caster sugar
150ml (1/4 pint) double cream
200ml (7 fl oz) semi skimmed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g (9oz) trimmed rhubarb, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) lengths
15g (1/2 oz) butter
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
400g (14oz) strawberries, halved or sliced depending on the size
- First make the pastry, add the flour, sugar and butter to a food processor or electric mixer and mix until fine crumbs. Add the egg yolks and mix until a smooth soft dough, adding a little water as needed.
- Knead pastry lightly on a floured surface then cut into 8 pieces and roll out each piece until a little larger than a 9 cm (31/2 inch) loose based tart tin. Lift the pastry into the tin and press up the sides then trim a little above the top of the tin to allow for shrinkage. Continue until you have lined 8 tins. Prick the bases with a fork, put tins on a baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes, longer if time.
- Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas Mark 5. Line each tart with a square of non-stick baking paper and fill with baking beans or dried pulses. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the paper and beans and cook for 4-5 minutes until the bases are crisp.
- While the tarts cook, mix the egg yolks and whole egg with the sugar in a bowl. Bring the milk and cream just to the boil in a saucepan then gradually whisk into the yolks. Add the vanilla essence then strain back into the pan.
- Add the rhubarb to a small roasting tin, dot with the butter and sprinkle with the sugar.
- Take the tarts out of the oven, reduce the temperature to 160oC/325oF/Gas Mark 3. Pour the custard mixture into the tart cases put in the oven with the rhubarb on the shelf above. Bake the tarts for 15-20 minutes until just set with a very slight wobble to the centre and the rhubarb for 20-25 minutes until just tender and still bright pink. Add the redcurrant jelly to the rhubarb juices and stir until melted. Leave to cool.
- When ready to serve, take the tarts out of the tins and put on serving plates. Mix the strawberries with the rhubarb and spoon over the tops of the tarts.