Rhubarb & Custard Tart recipe

A true British classic, remarkable rhubarb is a wonderfully sharp fruit, bursting with antioxidants. It's classically vibrant colour also makes it a splendidly attractive ingredient to use in desserts. It's so popular among our friends that we jokingly say that rhubarb crumble is our village's official dessert.

I liked the look of this lovely recipe created by 44 Foods ambassador and celebrity chef James Strawbridge which Ive been invited to share with you.

Launched in January 2021, 44 Foods is a collective of farmers and food producers who are passionate about ethically produced, fairly priced, sustainable food. 

Together, they supply fruit and veg, meat and dairy and larder essentials direct such as honey and baked goods from their farms, bakeries and bee hives to your door - offering customers a fairer way to shop, and promising to pay producers and farmers a fair price.

44 Foods offers nationwide, environmentally friendly delivery. Customers can add individual items to their basket online, or opt for bundles - including the Breakfast in Bed Bundle, Staycation Bundle, Fish Meal for Two, Roast Chicken Dinner for Four, Steak Meal for Two, Producers’ Taster Box, a variety of recipe bundles, and much more. 

Without further ado, here's the recipe. Click here for another recipe from James, featuring British asparagus.

Rhubarb & custard tart


Serves 4

Rhubarb and custard tart


 For the pastry


165g wholemeal flour

100g unsalted butter

50g icing sugar

15g ground hazelnuts

1 egg, beaten

1-2 tbsp water

For the custard

200g double cream

200g Cornish clotted cream

1 vanilla pod

120g egg yolks

60g caster sugar

½ tsp pink peppercorns

For the rhubarb

6-8 stems of rhubarb, sliced into batons

2 tbsp caster sugar

2 star anise, crushed slightly

Rhubarb jelly

1 rhubarb stem

75ml water

1 tbsp sugar

½ tsp agar agar



  1. Start by making your pastry by combining the flour and butter in a bowl and rubbing together into a breadcrumb texture. Then mix the icing sugar and egg and mix in to form a dough. If it’s too dry, then add a little water. Shape into a ball and wrap in a beeswax wrap. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour. 
  2. Roll out your pastry into a 23cm tart tin and chill for 30 mins.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180˚C fan and arrange your batons of rhubarb on a baking tray sprinkled with star anise and sugar. Leave to macerate for 15 mins while the oven heats up and then cook for 10 mins to soften. 
  4. Reduce the heat to 160˚C and line your tart case with a sheet of baking parchment weighted down by baking beans. Bake the pastry case for 20 mins then remove the baking beans and bake for a further 10 mins. Trim off the edges with a fine grater. 
  5. Make your custard by heating your cream, vanilla and peppercorns with sugar on a medium heat until it is nearly at boiling point. Strain your infused sweetened cream and next whisk your egg yolks in a separate bowl. Gradually pour a little warm cream at a time in with the eggs whilst beating. Slowly incorporate all the infused cream and whisk into a smooth mixture. Return the custard to the pan and gently warm through whilst stirring to thicken.
  6. Allow to cool and pour into your pastry case. Bake in the oven for 10-15 mins at 180˚C until the custard sets but still has a slight wobble. 
  7. In a small saucepan cook your remaining chopped rhubarb, sugar and water for a jelly. Simmer for 4-5 mins and then strain the pink syrup with a sieve. Add your setting agent in this case a small spoonful of agar agar and whisk until dissolved. 
  8. Then top the custard tart with a neat chevron arrangement of rhubarb batons and finally pour over your jelly. Leave for 5-10 mins to set and serve a slice with generous dollop of clotted cream.



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