Rhubarb, ginger and custard tart

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Concentric circles of sweet, tangy rhubarb conceal a perfectly set ginger-infused custard filling in this stunning tart by chef Lani Greenhalgh. In a move of pure genius, Lani uses sugar as the filling in her blind-baking mixture, then uses this lightly toasted sugar to make the custard – providing an extra dimension to the filling. Check out our feature for more of Lani's sublime pastry creations.

First published in 2019





To glaze the pastry

Rhubarb topping

Ginger custard tart filling

  • 450g of cream
  • 70g of toasted sugar, (reserved from blind baking the pastry)
  • 40g of fresh ginger
  • 135g of egg yolks

Rhubarb jelly

  • 25g of caster sugar
  • 25g of glucose
  • 200g of water
  • 4 bronze gelatine leaves, bloomed in cold water


  • 25cm loose bottom tart tin
  • Food processor
  • Food mixer with paddle attachment
  • Microplane
  • Stick blender
  • Pastry brush


Begin by making the pastry. Blitz the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor. Sieve all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer
Using the paddle attachment, combine on low speed with the cold butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then add to the flour and butter mixture. Work for about 30 seconds until just combined. Avoid over-working the dough
Push the dough together to form a rough disc shape. Wrap in cling film and chill for a minimum of 1 hour, until it is firm and well rested
Lightly sprinkle a work surface with flour and roll the pastry out to an even circle, about the thickness of a pound coin. There will be some excess dough which can be trimmed after cooling. Roll the pastry back onto the rolling pin and onto the tart tin. Coerce the pastry into the tin, pressing gently into the edges. Leave the pastry overhang as it is. Chill for another hour
Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2 (no fan)
Trim the excess pastry to leave about 1cm hanging over the edge and reserve the excess pastry for later. Use aluminium foil to line the tart case for blind-baking. Lani uses caster sugar as a weight for blind-baking, then reuses the lightly toasted sugar in the fillings, but you can use baking beans or whatever you prefer. Bake the tart shell for 1 hour
In the meantime, prepare the rhubarb. Remove and discard the leaves and trim the stems into nice neat batons, keeping any offcuts – you'll need 50g for the jelly
Toss the rhubarb batons in a baking tray with the sugar and star anise. Leave to macerate at room temperature for 20 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for 15–20 minutes with the pastry case (at 150°C) until tender but not falling apart
Remove the rhubarb and the pastry case from the oven. Set the rhubarb aside to cool completely and remove the foil and sugar (or baking beans) from the pastry. Use a microplane to shave the edges of the tart shell until it is flush with the tart ring and even all around
Using a stick blender, blend enough of the reserved raw pastry trimmings (about 35–40g) with the egg to form a liquid pastry. Brush it all over the tart case, filling any cracks and smoothing out the edges. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool
Turn the oven temperature down to 115°C/gas mark 1/4 (no fan)
To make the filling, heat the cream and sugar almost to the boil in a saucepan. Peel and grate the ginger, then add to the hot cream. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes, or to taste
Beat the eggs yolks in a mixing bowl. Gently reheat the cream until hot (but not boiling) then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl or jug. Pour the hot cream onto the egg yolks, whisking constantly until thoroughly combined
Place the prepared tart case onto the middle shelf of the oven. Strain the custard mixture into the tart case and bake for 20–30 minutes, or until just set with a slight wobble in the middle. Remove and allow to cool completely
To make the jelly, bring the sugar, glucose, water and 50g of the reserved rhubarb trimmings to the boil and cook for 10 minutes to release some flavour and colour from the rhubarb. Add the bloomed gelatine leaves to the mixture, bring back to the boil for a second then strain and allow to cool
When ready to serve, slice the cooked rhubarb into thin, even slices and arrange on top of the tart. Brush liberally with the rhubarb jelly and allow to set before cutting into slices
First published in 2019

Lani Greenhalgh is a chef, whose CV includes The Laughing Heart in Hackney.

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