Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Tart

Recently Simon at stuck-in-a-book was asking people what their favourite book titles are; well one of mine is ‘The Art Of The Tart’, Tamasin Day-Lewis’ book about, well, tarts. I know it’s a fairly ropey joke but I found it funny when I got the book, and it still amuses me now so shall just have to live with the fact that I’m not as sophisticated as I’d sometimes like to think.

I know Tamasin Day-Lewis wrote in the Telegraph, but it’s not been my weekend paper of choice so I don’t know how she comes across when you build up a weekly relationship with her, but in her books she certainly seems somewhat uncompromising, bossy, and a huge name dropper. Still I can’t help but enjoy her books because the recipe’s always make me seem terribly competent (and definitely restore my pretensions to sophistication). I made the rhubarb and lemon cream tart for lunch today to the general approval of the Scottish one so am going to share it with you. (This version is with all my adjustments for flan case size, to do it, and many other delights proper justice see ‘The Art Of The Tart’).

Rhubarb and Lemon Cream Tart

Make a rich shortcrust pastry from 6oz white flour, 3oz unsalted butter, the grated rind of a lemon, an egg, and a generous tablespoon of icing sugar – blitz altogether in a food mixer and put aside to chill in the fridge for an hour.

400/500g of Rhubarb

200g/8oz vanilla castor sugar

2 tablespoons of water

1 egg and 3 egg yolks

100g/3oz castor sugar

Grated zest and juice of a lemon

300ml of double cream

60g/2oz crumbled sponge or boudoir biscuits

Icing sugar.

Heat the oven to 200°c/gas 6. Roll out the pastry and blind bake for 10 mins covered in greaseproof paper and suitably weighed down with beans or similar. Remove the beans, prick the base with a fork and blind bake for a further 5 mins then turn the oven down to 160°/gas 3.

Whilst the pastry has been doing it’s thing chop the rhubarb into 1 -2 cm chunks and heat with the sugar and water until soft but not mush, drain over a bowl and keep the syrup aside.

Put the eggs, lemon juice and rind, cream and sugar in a bowl and combine before transferring to a jug.

Crumble up the sponge and put it in the base of the pastry case, put the flan dish on an oven tray (excellent advice from Tamasin because it does indeed save me from slopping custard all over the oven) add the rhubarb and then cover with the lemony custard and put in the oven for about 30 – 35mins or until the custard is just set.

When it comes out and has cooled a bit then sprinkle a little icing sugar over the top and toast it with a handy blow torch or under a very hot grill until lightly browned, allow to cool and serve with the Rhubarb syrup. (The syrup is the most amazing lovely pink)


  1. Great title, and looks like great recipes too!

  2. TDL's books are all marvellous, and I just buy them as soon as I can. My son gave me "Supper for a Song" for Christmas, and I certainly had a bit of a grumble about the ingredients for one recipe therein costing £23.00 (some "song"; but I didn't spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar by using horrible rubbery cheap mozzarella!) Her Burnt Orange Icecream (in another book) is a house favourite here, although when I subsequently made "Marmalade Froth" icecream with the scum scooped off my bubbling marmalade, I didn't think the difference was very great!
    I daresay if your father is Poet Laureate, and your mother one of the great actresses of her day, you can't help being a bit of a name-dropper, as the people who come to your house are probably all well known!

  3. I haven't yet got supper for a song though I do keep looking at it, I think she's a brilliant writer, and probably the food writer I would most like to hear talk in person. I know if I follow her insructions the results will be good so she's really built my cooking confidance. I think she's far better than a lot of somewhat more well known cooks, and sometimes suspect that it is the 'this is julia Roberts favourite' element that has stopped a few people warming to her. On the other hand if Julia Roberts will risk her figure on a slice of carb heavy tracle tart then I'm not going to hold back!

  4. I have got a book called The Book of Old Tarts by Elizabeth Hodder - which I think is a very funny book title! I also love TDL book The Art of the Tart - great little book.