Edd Kimber’s Rhubarb & Custard Tart
For the pastry
- 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- 140g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
- 1 medium egg yolk, plus 1 medium egg yolk beaten, for glazing (save the whites for meringues)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
For the vanilla custard
- ½ vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 250ml whole milk
- 1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 25g cornflour
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
For the roasted rhubarb
- 700g thin forced rhubarb (about 5 stalks), trimmed, rinsed and cut into 9cm/3 ½ in-long pieces
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out, or 1 tsp vanilla paste
- juice 2 oranges
- 1 tbsp pistachio, chopped, to serve
- Put the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix together. Add the butter and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 1 egg yolk, the vanilla and 1 tbsp cold water, and mix together until it just starts to come together as a dough. Tip the mixture onto a clean work surface and gently bring together with your hands. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 1 hr before rolling out. Can be made 3 days ahead, or frozen for 2 months.
- Put the vanilla beans scraped from the pod (or the paste) in a pan over a medium-high heat, add the milk and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, tip the egg, yolks, sugar and cornflour into a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking to combine. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook, whisking constantly, for 2-3 mins until thickened. Scrape into a bowl and add the butter, mixing until melted and combined. Press a sheet of cling film onto the surface of the custard to stop a skin forming, and chill for 3 hrs. Can be made and chilled 3 days ahead.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a large rectangle big enough to line a 30 x 20cm fluted rectangular tart tin. Roll the pastry onto the rolling pin and carefully drape it into the tin, carefully lifting and pressing into the corners and edges. Roll your rolling pin over the tart tin, cutting off the excess. Chill for 30 mins or until the pastry is firm.
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line the tart with a piece of crumpled baking parchment and fill with baking beans or rice and place on a baking tray. Bake for about 30 mins, then remove the parchment and the beans, and return to the oven for another 5 mins or until the base is golden brown. Brush the inside of the tart with the remaining beaten egg yolk and return to the oven for 1 min to set (this creates a seal, meaning the pastry won’t become soggy as quickly). Set aside to cool.
- Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Put the rhubarb batons in a small roasting tin (so that they are in one flat layer) and sprinkle over the sugar, the vanilla pod and its scraped out seeds, and the orange juice. Roast for 15-20 mins, or until the rhubarb has softened but is still holding its shape and a vibrant pink syrup has formed. Remove from the oven, discard the vanilla pod and allow to cool.
- Remove the custard from the fridge, beat to loosen, then pour over the pastry and smooth with a spatula. Top with the roasted rhubarb, brushing a little of the syrup on top, then sprinkle over the pistachios. Best eaten on the day its made.
Risotto is a great way to make the most of top-notch British asparagus. Try it topped with homemade Parmesan crisps.
For the risotto
- 6 asparagus spears, woody ends removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 200g/7oz risotto rice (eg carnaroli or arborio)
- 250ml/9fl oz white wine
- 500ml/18fl oz hot vegetable stock
- 25g/1oz unsalted butter
- 75g/2¾oz Parmesan (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese), grated
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the parmesan crisps (optional)
120g/4¼oz Parmesan (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese)
- Cook the asparagus in boiling water for a few minutes until just tender. Drain and allow them to cool, then chop into small pieces and set aside.
- For the risotto, heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the shallot and garlic until softened but not coloured. Add the rice and fry for one minute, stirring frequently, until coated in the oil. Add the wine and simmer until absorbed by the rice.
- Add the hot vegetable stock a ladleful at a time, stirring between each addition to allow the liquid to be completely absorbed, until the rice is cooked and the stock has been absorbed (you may not need all the stock). Add the asparagus, butter and Parmesan, season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well.
- For the Parmesan crisps, preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas 3 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Divide the cheese into six small piles leaving plenty of space between them as the Parmesan will spread. Press the piles of Parmesan down to flatten them, then transfer to the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes, until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set.
- To serve, divide the risotto equally among two serving dishes and top with the Parmesan crisps.