Meet Ruby the rhubarb and raspberry ginger custard tart. She's a bright and pretty pink number with glossy, crisp rhubarb batons on top and a quivering custard belly inside while the sour cream pastry shatters with every bite.
The egg custard and pastry when warm reminds me of Chinese egg custard tarts. Mr NQN prefers the rhubarb to be very soft and sweet whereas for me I loved its tart crispness. And this way you get those pristine, glossy logs of rhubarb because cooking it any longer means that the strands start to come away from the stem (and it happens quickly!).
I know I've written at length at how different Mr NQN and I are. Physically we are different-he's tall, I'm tiny and he's all country boy casual and I get dressed up even when rock climbing (well not dressed up but I wear full make up).
But oddly, sometimes people don't even think that we're married and he gets called my bodyguard although he's very lean and doesn't resemble a typical bodyguard. The other day we were signing in for rock climbing. The girl behind the counter asked Mr NQN's name and found his membership. She then asked for my name and found my account.
Then she looked at both of us, "Wow, you two look so different. How are you related?". It took me a few seconds to understand what she meant. I doubt she meant any malice, she looked genuinely curious and I think she thought we might be adopted siblings or something.
"Um yeah, well we're married," I answered.
The poor girl turned the shade of rhubarb in a second. "Oh yeah...ummm forget I asked that," she said totally embarrassed. We didn't want to laugh in front of her as she was now a bright shade of pink but we had to laugh once we were out of earshot!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever come out with questions you wished you hadn't asked? When was the last time you blushed and what caused it? What embarrasses you? And do you prefer soft or crisp rhubarb?
Rhubarb and Raspberry Tart
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 70 minutes
For the tart
- 250g/8.8ozs. pastry (try this sour cream pastry)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup caster or superfine sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornflour/fine cornstarch
- 440ml/15.5fl ozs. milk
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 cup raspberry jam
For the topping
- 375g/13ozs. rhubarb stalks (it's easier if you buy more so you can make sure that you have enough of the right length)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup water
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Roll out the pastry and press into a 35x13cmloose bottomed tart tin. Rest the pastry in the fridge for 30 minutes and then line with foil and baking beads and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beads and bake for another 10 minutes or until set.
Step 2 - In the meantime make the custard. Whisk the egg yolks and egg with the sugar and cornflour in a jug. Heat the milk in a saucepan until almost boiling and then add the egg mixture and ginger and stir until thickened. Spread the base of the tart with the raspberry jam and then pour the custard on top. Bake at 120C/248F for 30 minutes.
Step 3 - While it is baking make the rhubarb. Cut the rhubarb stalks to the correct length to fit the tin-I always cut a few more than needed because I want them to look perfect on top. Place the sugar, water and ginger in a large saucepan and heat to dissolve the sugar. Then knock the heat down to low (i.e. 3 out of 10) and place the rhubarb in the syrup cooking it very gently. I advised making more because a lot of the appeal of this tart is in the look of the glossy stems. It should take less than 5 minutes. Remove from the syrup and place on a plate. Then once the tart is baked, place the rhubarb on top.