I've often flicked through Martha Stewart's Baking Companion and admired the picture of her rhubarb tart. I've read the recipe many times and always baulk at the idea of a cream cheese filling so rather than work directly from Martha's recipe I've used it as inspiration instead.
My rhubarb and vanilla tart is comprised of a pate sucree base, a vanilla creme patissiere folded through lightly whipped cream, and rhubarb gently poached in a vanilla syrup.
The rhubarb was lovely and tart, a beautiful contrast to the sweetness of the custard filling. Really you could top this tart with any fruit, fresh raspberries and figs would be gorgeous. Or another winter fruit poached with vanilla and rosewater.
1 bunch rhubarb
1 vanilla bean
Place the sugar, water and vanilla bean into a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Wash and slice the rhubarb into 4 cm long pieces and place it into the sugar syrup. Cover and immediately remove from heat. The rhubarb will gently poach as the liquid cools.
Makes enough for 2 x 7" pastry cases so I only used half for my tart and froze the remainder. This recipe is a lazy food processor version of Damien Pignolet's Pate Sucree.
25g pure icing sugar, sifted
1 egg yolk plus sufficient iced water to make 45ml of liquid
180g plain flour, sifted
135g cold butter, cut into 1.5cm dice
In a small bowl place egg yolk mixture and icing sugar and whisk to combine. In a food processor combine the flour, salt and butter and mix until crumbs form. Slowly add the egg/icing sugar mix and process until a rough ball of dough forms. Do not over mix.
Wrap the dough in glad wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Flour the benchtop and roll out the dough to 5mm thick. Fill pastry cases, leaving a 1.5cm overhang which you then fold back over into the tin, leaving a small amount raised slightly above the rim.
Line the pastry shells with foil or baking paper and freeze for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Fill the shells with pie weights and bake for 10 minutes or until the walls appear to be set. Remove the pie weights and continue to bake at 170 degrees Celsius until the shell is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.
Creme Patissiere Filling
Remember my favourite creme patissiere recipe? All you need to do is make a batch and fold half of it through 1 cup of lightly whipped cream. You can use the remainder of the creme patissiere to create vanilla custard and banana crepes for your beloved if you like. I did.