Rhubarb and Custard

Serves 4
For the Sableé

  • 250g Plain Flour, sifted
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 175g Cold, Unsalted Butter
  • 10g Whole Egg Yolk
  • ¼ Vanilla Pod, split lengthways

This will be enough for about 10 cases, so only use what you need, and reserve the rest for another day.

For the Crème Patisserie

  • 375ml Milk
  • ½ Vanilla Pod, split lengthways
  • 90g Egg Yolks
  • 75g Caster Sugar
  • 38g All Purpose Flour
  • 225ml Double Cream, whipped

This will be enough for about 10 cases, so only use what you need, and reserve the rest for another day.

For the Poppy Seed Tuile

  • 50g Isomalt Sugar (www.souschef.com)
  • 5g Poppy Seeds

For the Pickled Grapes

  • 12 Red Grapes
  • 150g White Wine
  • 8g Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 10g Sugar

For the Rhubarb Garnish

  • 4 Sticks of Rhubarb
  • Juice of 8 Sticks of Rhubarb (make yourself in a juicer)
  • 50ml Grenadine
  • 60g Caster Sugar

For the Rhubarb Compote

  • Rhubarb Trimming left over from making the Garnish above
  • ¼ of the Cooking Liquid from Garnish above
  • 30g Caster Sugar

For the Rhubarb Gel

  • ¾ Cooking Liquid from Rhubarb Garnish
  • 8g Agar Powder (www.amazon.co.uk) per 500g of Poaching Liquid


First make the sablée cases by placing the dry ingredients in a bowl, adding the cubed butter and rubbing together. Make a well in the centre; add the wet ingredients and seeds scraped from the split vanilla pod, and mix. Shape the dough and rest for a good half hour in the fridge. Now butter and flour a 80mm x 20mm tartlet tin (chefs.com product code A344), Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, lay in the tin and refrigerate again. After 30 minutes, line with cling film (5 sheets thick), and fill with rice. Bake the pastry case at 150oC for about 10 minutes, then remove rice and cling film, and continue to cook for further 5/10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Once baked leave to cool.

Now make the crème patisserie. Put the milk in a saucepan, scrape the seeds from the split vanilla pod and add to the milk; bring to the boil. In a separate bowl mix together the egg yolk and sugar, and when combined add the flour. Again mix until smooth. Pour half the milk into the mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Pass this mixture through a fine sieve and return to the remaining milk in the pan over a gentle heat. When the mix comes to the boil, simmer for a few minutes. Now pour onto a cold tray and refrigerate. When completely cool reserve ¼ of the mix and place in a piping bag. Fold whipped cream into remaining mix, and place the finished crème patisserie in a piping bag. Refrigerate until needed.

To make the tuile, blitz the isomalt until fine (or chop). Sift onto a baking mat, and place on a baking tray. Sprinkle the seeds over the top, add another baking mat and bake for 8-10mins at 200oC/Gas 6. Remove mat, break into pieces, and set aside.

To prepare the rhubarb garnish, slice the reddish part on the angle (should be 0.5cm thick) and place in a small bowl. Set aside the other part of the rhubarb stick for the compote (see below). Put the rhubarb juice, grenadine and sugar in a small pan and bring to the boil, pour onto the sliced rhubarb. Keep checking to ensure it does not go to soft. When al dente drain any excess juice off but ensure the rhubarb is still covered. Keep the cooking juices for the compote and gel (see below).

To make the compote, slice up the rhubarb trimmings (non reddish slices) and place in a pan with¼ the cooking juices from the garnish and add the sugar. Cook on a low heat until soft and no liquid remains. Set aside.

For the gel add the Agar to the remaining juice (must be 500ml, if not make up the balance with another fruit juice), bring to the boil and set aside. When set, cut into cubes, blend, and place in a piping bag.

Place a small amount of compote into each sablee case then pipe the crème patisserie (with cream) on top to make a small dome. Fill the rim with dots of the rhubarb gel, and top with the tuiles. Create a pretty pattern with the rhubarb garnish, and then dot the dish with drops of both the gel and crème patissiere.

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