As spring finally blooms, we can leave behind those hearty and wholesome winter dishes and swap them for something refreshingly lighter on the palate.
Step in the humble rhubarb – a versatile ingredient that comes into season mid-spring and which is the star ingredient in this classic custard tart recipe.
The smooth, luscious rhubarb sorbet makes for a delicate accompaniment to the tart, with the blood orange segments helping to lift this plate of deliciousness and lace it with a mouth-watering, zesty twist.
For inspiration on how to make the best use of springtime ingredients, visit the artisan website at artisannewcastle.com
Custard Tart, Rhubarb Sorbet and Blood Orange
For the pastry
330g plain flour
25g corn flour
150g caster sugar
200g butter (soft)
1 medium / large free-range egg
1 egg for brushing pastry
For the custard filling
9 egg yolks
150g caster sugar
1 litre whipping cream
2 rubbings nutmegs
For the rhubarb sorbet
500g Yorkshire rhubarb
250g caster sugar
For the garnish
A few sprigs of lemon balm
Segments of blood orange
Start with the pastry. In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients until it resembles bread crumbs. Add the egg and mix until the pastry comes together. Turn out onto the bench and work until it forms a smooth dough. Divide into two pieces. Wrap and rest until needed (approximately one hour).
Rolling the pastry
Sprinkle flour on the work surface. Place one of the two doughs on the bench and flatten out slightly. Work quick. Roll out to a rough circle, turning after each roll (do not turn over). Roll out to about 30cm diameter and 3mm thick for a 20cm tart ring. Line tart ring, place on tray with slip mat and chill.
Baking the pastry
Pre-heat oven to 170C. Place three layers of cling film criss-cross over pastry and fill with baking beans. Place in oven for 20 minutes. Remove baking beans and return to oven for a further five minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, brush pastry with beaten egg to ensure pastry is completely sealed. Now start your custard filling…
Bring the cream up to a simmer. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale. Pour cream onto egg and allow to cool slightly. Remove any air bubbles from the surface.
Baking the tart
Turn oven down to 100C. Make sure the shell is completely sealed. Place shell in oven for a few minutes to warm. Pour custard mix into shell and bake for 50 minutes until just set. Take out of the oven and when still hot – grate nutmeg all over the top (as much or as a little as you prefer). Leave to cool to room temperature (do not place in the fridge).
Make this the day before. Place the sugar, water and glucose in a pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Reserve a few pieces of rhubarb for the garnish; add chopped and washed rhubarb to the syrup and simmer until rhubarb is soft. Blend until smooth and churn in ice-cream machine.
Assemble the dish as pictured.