This is a real show-off of a tart. When you crack through the brittle caramel to the sweet citrusy lemon and tartness of roasted rhubarb, it’s a revelation. It is not mandatory to brûlée the tart, but certainly well worth the effort.
Makes eight 10 cm tarts
Preparation time 40 minutes plus 30 minutes freezing time for pastry and setting time in fridge
Cooking time 45 minutes
1 quantity Sweet Pastry (recipe below)
3 rhubarb stalks, trimmed
3 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
600 ml (21 fl oz) Lemon Curd (recipe below)
icing (confectioners’) sugar
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly grease eight 10 cm (4 inch) round, loose-based fluted flan (tart) tins.
2 On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to 3 mm (1⁄8 inch) thick. Line the tins and trim any excess pastry. Cover with plastic wrap and rest in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
3 Line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut the rhubarb into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths, place on the baking tray and sprinkle over the caster sugar. Roast for approximately 10–15 minutes, until just soft enough to take the point of a knife. Allow to cool before using. Drain well on paper towel.
4 To blind bake the tart cases, line the tins with pieces of crumpled baking paper and pour in some baking beads or uncooked rice or dried beans. Bake for 10–15 minutes. Remove the paper and weights, return to the oven and bake until golden, approximately a further 10–15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
5 Place the rhubarb into the tart shells, spoon over the lemon curd and level with a palette knife. Put into the fridge until the curd sets.
6 Sift a thin, even layer of icing sugar over the lemon curd. Ignite a brûlée torch and with a slow sweeping motion guide the flame over the sugar. The nozzle should be 5–7.5 cm (2–3 inches) from the surface. The sugar will melt slowly at first then caramelise. Serve immediately.
Makes about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz)
Preparation time 15 minutes plus 30–60 minutes chilling time
Cooking time nil
250 g (9 oz/12⁄3 cups) plain
55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
pinch of salt
200 g (7 oz) butter, cold and diced
50 ml (1¾ fl oz) cold water
1 Sift the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the cold butter and mix on low speed until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2 Add the water and mix until the dough forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, press into a flat disc, then wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30–60 minutes before using.
Makes about 1.25 g (2 lb 12 oz/5 cups)
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
300 ml (10½ fl oz) lemon juice
6 eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
330 g (11¾ oz/1½ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
450 g (1 lb) butter, at room temperature, diced
1 In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, whole eggs and egg yolks, caster sugar and salt until well combined. Place over a large saucepan of simmering water, and make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water.
2 Hand-whisk for approximately 10–15 minutes until the mixture becomes very thick and reaches 82°C (180°F) on a sugar thermometer. Remove the bowl from the saucepan.
3 Add the butter a little at a time, whisking after each addition and making sure the butter is fully incorporated before adding more. Lemon curd should be pale yellow and thick.
Recipes and Images from The Cook & Baker by Cherie Bevan and Tass Tauroa, published by Murdoch Books