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Rhubarb Earl Grey Custard Tart

I’ve never cooked with rhubarb before or incorporated tea into desserts yet other than powdered green tea. So when I saw Russel’s (Chasing Delicious) earl grey berry tart and Viviane’s (At Down Under) rhubarb tart, I was inspired to combine these two new things into one recipe. The result was great, there was a nice subtleness of the smooth earl grey steeped custard which paired well with the tartn ess of the rhubarb. If you don’t like earl grey, I think it would also be great to just replace it with usual english breakfast. After this, I really want to somehow incorporate more tea into the desserts I make, it’s just such a genius idea and makes things sound a little more fancy, no? 

And the HSC is finally over. It’s not as scary as people make it sound like… I was even able to manage this tart 2 days before an exam. Baking things in between exams definitely was a good down time for me. I will now be embracing my big 4 month holiday now!! I will be going back to Jakarta shortly, sometime next week. I don’t have alot of proper cooking material and equipment there so it might be hard to post recipes. I wish I could take all my pots and pans but alas, that is not possible…But there will definitely be a whole lot of dining out reviews. I realise it may not be applicable, but hmm, I think the blog will start to be more of a travel blog in the next few weeks with recommendations tips for when any of you comes to Jakarta? There’s still some issues with visa and whatnots, but if it all goes down well, I may even be able to go to Europe and that’ll be a hell lot of fun to blog about! So lots of travelling planned, and it’s not a good trip without good food so I’ll be sure to document everything. 

Rhubarb, Earl Grey Custard Tart
Makes one 20-23cm round tart or one 35x13cm rectangular tart
For the base: (Recipe from Joy of Baking)

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Cream butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, beating just until incorporated. (the mixture may seem curdled but it’s okay, you’re on the right track. It’ll all come together nicely after the flour) 

2. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix just until it forms a ball. Flatten the pastry into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes or just until firm (can place in freezer for about 10-15 minutes.)
3. Lightly butter and flour, or spray with a non-stick vegetable/flour cooking spray, an 8 – 9 inch (20 – 23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. Once the pastry has chilled sufficiently, evenly pat onto the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (205°C) and place rack in center of oven. Lightly prick bottom of pastry crust with the tines of a fork (this will prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes). Place tart pan on a larger baking pan and bake crust for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue to bake the crust for about 15 minutes or until crust is dry and lightly golden brown. 
5. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. If desired, seal the crust with an egg white glaze or apricot glaze. Can be covered and stored for a few days.

For the custard: (Recipe from Chasing Delicious)

650mL milk

1/2 vanilla bean

20g earl grey tea leaves
40g cornstarch
150g sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
55g unsalted butter

1. Place the earl grey tea in cheesecloth and tie it shut tightly to ensure no tea leaves can escape. (I didn’t have one so I just gathered around 8 earl grey tea bags)
2. Place the milk in a heavy bottomed pot. Cut into the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the innards from the vanilla bean into the milk. Place the bean pod in the milk too and bring the milk to a boil. Once the milk has reached a boil, remove the pot from the heat. Place the cheesecloth bag filled with tea into the milk, cover pot, and allow it to steep for 15 minutes.
3. In the mean time, mix the cornstarch, sugar, salt and eggs together in a bowl. Set aside.
4. After the tea is finished steeping, remove the cheesecloth bag and vanilla bean from the milk. Slowly pour some of the milk into the sugar mixture, whisking to temper the eggs. Return the tempered egg mixture to the pot with the remaining milk.
5. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil, stirring/whisking constantly. Once at a boil, continue cooking for another 30 seconds to ensure the cornstarch taste is cooked out.
6. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Allow the custard to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge to chill.

For the rhubarb:

About 5 large stalks rhubarb

3 tbs brown sugar 

1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a large baking tray with parchment2. Slice rhubarb diagonally and lay on parchment. Sprinkle sugar on top3. Place in oven for about 6 minutes or until just soft. Cool

To assemble:

1. Spoon and spread custard over cooled base evenly. Arrange the cooked rhubarb on top as desired.

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May 16, 2014 - 2:31 am

Suzette Barnett - Hi, I’ve held onto this since you published, I think I’m going to go for it now. It looks so good! Could I replace the homemade tart dough with store-bought pie crust, the frozen kind?

May 17, 2014 - 12:36 pm

Irene @ { a swoonful of sugar } - Yep! That’s completely fine- enjoy!

August 27, 2014 - 9:23 pm

Sue - Can this tart be made a day before and store in the fridge for next day consumption?

August 28, 2014 - 10:50 pm
August 30, 2014 - 8:16 am

Jenny - I attempted this recipe, however failed at the filling. The filling came out very watery and couldn’t coagulate after chilling it in the fridge. I followed the recipe, except that instead of cornstarch, I used cornflour. I thought they are of the same. Pls help!

August 30, 2014 - 11:24 am

Irene @ { a swoonful of sugar } - Hi Jenny, I’m sorry to hear that! Cornflour should be the same as cornstarch…
You’re sure
- you added the correct amount mixed with the eggs and sugar?
- did not ‘scramble’ the eggs by pouring the hot milk too quickly into the egg/cornflour mixture? (It should be thin but smooth at this stage)
- or perhaps not adding enough of the milk, so the eggs did not get to temper properly and got a bit of a ‘shock’ when it was put over heat. Even though the recipe says ‘some’ milk, I do find it vague (I apologise and will probably change it), when making pastry cream I usually just end up putting the whole milk mixture into the eggs then put everything back into the saucepan.
- you put the whole thing back in the saucepan and brought it to boil, then boiled it for a minute or so? (It should be thick enough albeit too hot to spoon straight onto the tart at this stage)

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