Ombre Roasted Rhubarb and Hazelnut Tart

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I celebrated the purchase of new, rectangular tart tin and some homegrown Devon rhubarb by making a delicious roasted rhubarb and hazelnut tart. As a new convert to rhubarb, I was keen to try some new rhubarb recipes and this one is absolutely delicious. Soft, slightly tart rhubarb with hints of star anise and cinnamon with creamy vanilla creme patisserie and crisp, buttery hazelnut pastry. Perfect. I’ve said that the recipe will serve 6 people although it was devoured at my dinner party by 4…!

Ombre Roasted Rhubarb and Hazelnut tart

Ingredients:

8 or 9 stems of rhubarb

255g golden caster sugar

80ml water

1 stick of cinnamon, broken in two

2 whole star anise

1 vanilla pod

375ml whole milk

4 egg yolks

150g plain flour + 2 tbsps

125g salted butter, cubed

40g hazelnut flour

45g icing sugar

Serves 6 people

Method:

Start by making your pastry. Either by hand or using a food processor, combine 150g plain flour, the hazelnut flour, icing sugar and cubed butter so that it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add one egg yolk and bring together to form a smooth dough. Tip out your dough onto a very slightly floured surface and knead briefly if necessary. (If you’re making the dough in a food processor then this probably won’t be necessary but take care not to overwork your dough). Form your dough into a ball, cover with clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes.

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While the dough is chilling, start to prep your rhubarb. Cut your rhubarb into long pieces the width of your tart tin and place in a roasting tin – don’t layer the pieces of rhubarb on top of each other. (I like to line my rhubarb up on the loose bottom of my tart tin to make sure that all of the pieces are the correct length). Once you’ve cut your rhubarb to the appropriate length, grease your tart tin.

Remove the dough from fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface. When it is the correct size, carefully lift it up to line your tart tin and push into the corners and prick the base all over lightly with a fork. It helps to have a slight overhang as the pastry will probably shrink a little bit when you bake it. Line with foil or baking paper and tip in some baking beans or rice if you don’t have beans and put it back in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Once up to temperature bake the pastry case blind for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the baking beans and the foil or paper, and continue to bake until the pastry is lightly browned all over. This will probably take about 15 minutes but just keep an eye on it. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Now turn your attention bake to the rhubarb by adding 155g golden caster sugar to the roasting tin with your rhubarb, 80ml water, the cinnamon and the star anise. Roast in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes until tender. Once tender, remove from the oven and leave to cool, retaining the roasting liquor. You can roast the rhubarb a couple of days ahead and keep in the sealed container (including all of the roasting liquor) in the fridge if you want. Just take it out of the fridge to come up to room temperature before you assemble the tart.

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Make the creme patisserie filling by pouring the milk into a saucepan and adding the seeds from the vanilla pod, along with the pod and bringing up to a simmer. Once you have reached a simmer, cover and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.

Whilst the milk is infusing, whisk together three egg yolks, 100g caster sugar and 2 tbsps of plain flour. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk and gradually whisk into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a clean saucepan and cook, stirring all the time, over a medium heat until the mixture thickens.

Once thickened, spoon the creme patisserie into a clean bowl, cover with clingfilm so that it is touching the surface of the creme patisserie, and leave to cool in the fridge.

When you’re ready to assemble your tart, spread the creme patisserie over the base of the pastry case and then arrange your rhubarb carefully over the top from light pink through to dark pink and then pour over some of the remaining roasting liquor. You can assemble your tart a couple of hours before you want to serve it.

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