Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Tart Recipe

strawberry rhubarb custard tart

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This week’s challenge for the Great British Bake Off Bakealong was to make a fruit tart. Ordinarily I’d be jumping for joy as a berry tart is just about my favorite dessert. But given the current conditions I was not going to be able to get my hands on the beautiful berries I would need. The strawberry patch here is flowering but it’s a long way before it will be giving me fruit. The hubby was able to bring in a little bit of rhubarb so I looked in the freezer and was lucky – I found some frozen strawberries from last year. The recipe I have on the blog for strawberry rhubarb pie is very popular so I thought, why not a tart? The problem was, I didn’t have near enough fruit to fill a tart shell so I needed something else – I decided upon a lovely vanilla pastry cream. I used a shortbread cookie crust and it all came together into a very delicious dessert recipe.

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strawberry rhubarb custart tart recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Tart Recipe

Serves 8 to 10

For the Shortbread Crust

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg white, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling

For the Vanilla Pastry Cream

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  • 1/2 cup plus 2 TBS granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter, cut into two pieces
  • 1 – 2 tsp Grand Marnier or Brandy (optional)

For the Strawberry Rhubarb Topping

  • 2 cups diced rhubarb
  • 2 cups diced strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 TBS cornstarch mixed in 1/2 cup of water

Make the Shortbread Crust

  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attached, mix the butter and sugar on medium to medium high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Reduce to low and add egg white and vanilla. Don’t worry if the dough looks curdled.
  • Add the flour in 3 to 4 additions, mixing only until combined. Scrape the dough down as needed.
  • Remove the dough, flatten into a disc, wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

roll the crust, add to tart pan

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  • Roll the dough to fit a 9″ tart pan.(I love this tart pan. It’s the one I use) Trim. (Any leftover dough can be used to make cookies. Just roll out and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes)
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Prick the dough with a fork. Line with parchment and add pie weights or rice or some manner of weight
  • Bake the preheated oven for 10 minutes, check, rotate and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.

make strawberry rhubarb topping

Make the Strawberry Rhubarb Topping

  • Add the diced rhubarab and strawberries to a small saucepan with the sugar and pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is disolved and the fruit is soft and slightly reduced.
  • Stir in cornstarch mixture and let cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Remove to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the Vanilla Custard

  • Whisk the salt, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk in the evaporated milk, egg yolks and then the milk.
  • Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add both the seeds and the bean to the milk mixture.

make the pastry cream

  • Bring mixture to a simmer and continue whisking until mixture is thickened and smooth. Remove vanilla bean.
  • Remove from heat and stir in butter and Grand Marnier or Brandy if using.
  • Strain the custard into a medium bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap lightly on top and refrigerate until ready to use.

add pastry cream to tart shell

Put the tart together

  • When the tart shell has cooled, remove the shell from the pan, fill it with the pastry cream, smoothing with an offset spatula.

strawberry rhubarb custard tart

  • Top with the strawberry rhubarb topping.
  • If desired, serve with whipped cream

slice of strawberry rhubarb tart

How Was the Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Tart Recipe

It was really good; the crisp cookie crust, the rich, creamy pastry cream and the sweet tart topping. It all came together in one delightful dessert. This was not a treat that comes together quickly but it was well worth the time to make it. It’s another way to celebrate rhubarb season.

Strawberry season extends a little further than rhubarb so you can celebrate it with a lovely Lemon Strawberry Tart or a magnificent Strawberry Pie.

This strawberry rhubarb tart was put together from reciped adapted from various pieces in Dorie’s Cookies and The Perfect Pie. As per usual I thank Laura from Little House Big Alaska for hosting this fun bakealong.

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