Monday, 4 February 2013


I rarely make New Year's resolutions but I made one this year - that I would blog something every week. Well, that didn't work very well so here we are, into the second month of the year, and this my first post of the year. Ho hum.

But yay, it's rhubarb time again. I love rhubarb. My Mum would make rhubarb sponge, rhubarb crumble and rhubarb and custard - the rhubarb juices would curdle the custard into a glorious mess. I am happy with ordinary green rhubarb but always look forward to the new season rhubarb from Yorkshire - pink, tender and delicious.

I was going to look for something highly skilled and arty to do with my rhubarb but deep down I wanted a tart with something crunchy on top.  This isn't a particularly original recipe but it is lovely and fairly easy to make.  I can make sweet pastry (and it is very easy) but time is precious so I use a pack of ready made. Just make sure it is sweet pastry and is made with butter.

1 pack of sweet pastry

750g rhubarb
200g sugar

120g cold butter diced
120g plain flour
90g ground almonds
120g demererra sugar
Handful of flaked almonds

Heat oven to 180c. Butter and flour a 10" flan case with removable bottom and line bottom with baking parchment. Roll out the pastry until nice and thin then line the flan case. Crimp the edges so it looks pretty. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Take a sheet of greaseproof paper and line the pastry case loosely and add baking beans. Bake blind in a 200c oven for 20 minutes, remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes until pale golden brown and set. Turn oven down to 180c.

Wash the rhubarb, dry, then slice into 2" chunks. In a heavy bottomed saute pan spread out the rhubarb then sprinkle over the sugar. Leave on a low heat until the rhubarb starts releasing juice then occasionally shake the pan until the sugar has melted and the rhubarb is tender. Tip into a sieve over a bowl to let the rhubarb strain.

For the topping, rub the butter into the flour and ground almonds until it looks like breadcrumbs - don't worry if you are left with some lumps, it adds to the texture. Stir in the sugar and flaked almonds.

Fill the pastry case with the strained rhubarb, lightly spoon the topping mixture on top, and bake for 30 minutes until golden. Serve warm with cream - or custard!!

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