HOT or cold, sweet or savoury, a tart is a wonderful thing.
They can be eaten for lunch or at picnics, with new potatoes and salad for dinner or as a decadent dessert with cream at a fancy dinner party. Here are three that will impress.
Rhubarb custard tart
Serves 10 – £1.23 per serving
Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 40 minutes.
- 1 Morrisons The Best All Butter sweet pastry case
- 2 large free-range eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
- 135g caster sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 300ml double cream
- 2 vanilla pods, split lengthways, seeds scraped and reserved
- 500g rhubarb, cut into 4cm lengths
- A knob of butter
- Preheat the oven to 180C (fan) and pop a baking sheet inside to heat up. Make the custard filling. Mix the eggs and egg yolks, 60g of the caster sugar, orange zest and cornflour together in a bowl. Put the cream, 1 split vanilla pod and seeds in a pan over a medium heat and bring almost to the boil.
- Slowly strain the hot cream over the egg mixture, stirring. Pour back into the cleaned pan and return to the hob. Heat gently, stirring, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour into a jug, then cover the surface with cling film to stop a skin forming. Cool and chill. Place the rhubarb in a bowl, stir in the remaining 75g caster sugar and the seeds from the remaining vanilla pod, scatter over a shallow baking tray, dot with butter, drizzle with 1 tbsp water and add the vanilla pod. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Put a colander over a bowl, then pour the rhubarb into the colander, discarding the vanilla pod. Reserve the juices and allow the rhubarb to cool a little.
- Pour the custard into the pastry case, then top with the rhubarb. You can either scatter on or arrange in a careful pattern depending how fancy you want to it to be.
- Bake on the baking sheet for 12-15 minutes until the custard is just set. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves: 8 – 71p per portion
Preparation time: 1 hour.
Cooking time: 30 minutes.
- 100g cool butter, diced
- 175g plain flour, sifted
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- Pinch of salt, 1 egg yolk
- For lemon filling:
- 2 unwaxed lemons, grated zest and juice
- 115g melted butter, 3 eggs
- 150g caster sugar
- 25g plain flour, sifted
- 10g cornflour, sifted
- First make the pastry. With your fingertips, rub the diced butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar and salt, then the egg yolk and 1 tbsp cold water, and mix to a firm dough. (This can be done in a food processor.) Wrap in cling film or greaseproof paper and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (fan) and put a baking sheet in to heat. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 2mm and use to line a loose-based 24cm flan tin. Prick the base all over with a fork and chill for a further ten minutes.
- Cover the pastry with a circle of greaseproof paper and weigh down with dried or baking beans. Place the tin on the baking sheet and bake for 12–15 minutes until the pastry is set and pale golden.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix together the lemon zest and juice, melted butter, eggs, sugar, flour and cornflour in a large bowl and beat until smooth.
- Remove the beans and greaseproof paper from the pastry case and reduce the oven temperature to 160C. Pour in the lemon mixture and bake for 15 minutes or until the filling has set. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin. Serve warm or cold. Decorate with dusted icing sugar and thin lemon slices.
Serves 6 – £1.81 per person
Preparation time: 25 minutes.
Cooking time: 35 minutes.
- 1 savoury pastry case, approx 185g
- 250g asparagus
- 1 beaten egg white
- 2 medium eggs
- 275ml double cream
- 50g grated Gruyere or Emmental
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Place asparagus in a steamer over 2-3cm of boiling water and cover. Cook until tender but still firm – about four minutes. Drain and cool.
- Brush pastry cases with beaten egg white. Put asparagus into case. You can either chop or leave whole and arrange in the case.
- In a bowl, beat together the remaining eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle grated cheese over the asparagus. Pour egg mixture on top of the cheese.
- Bake uncovered in the preheated oven until firm – about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Let cool to room temperature before serving.
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