The combination of creamy custard, short pastry and sour fruit is what makes these tartlets from Matthew Evans the perfect end to any meal.
- 1 small bunch rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 2 cm lengths
- 55 g (¼ cup firmly packed) brown sugar
- 500 g strawberries, hulled
- 3 egg yolks
- 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 200 ml thickened cream
- icing sugar, to dust
Sweet shortcrust pastry
- 200 g (1⅓ cups) plain flour, plus extra, to dust
- 125 g unsalted butter, chopped, plus extra, to grease
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make pastry, process flour, butter and sugar in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and 1 tbsp iced water, and pulse until mixture comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Dust work surface with extra flour, divide dough into 6 and roll each piece out to rough 14 cm rounds. Cover and refrigerate for a further 30 minutes; this extra time will help prevent the pastry from shrinking as it cooks.
Preheat oven to 180°C and grease tart pans. Lay a pastry round over each tart pan and carefully press into base and side. Trim excess from edges. Place a piece of baking paper over each pastry case and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 8 minutes, then remove beans and paper, and bake for a further 5 minutes or until pastry is dry and pale golden.
Meanwhile, place rhubarb in a single layer, close together, on a lined oven tray and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
Cut strawberries into bite-size pieces and plonk into tartlet cases. Add some rhubarb and place tartlet cases on 2 oven trays.
To make custard, whisk together egg yolks, caster sugar and cream until smooth. Carefully pour around fruit in tartlet cases; fill, but don’t overfill as any spillage can make getting tartlets out of the pans difficult. Bake tartlets for 30 minutes or until custard has just set.
To glaze, generously dust tartlets with icing sugar and use a kitchen blowtorch to scorch the top. Alternatively, place them under a hot grill until the tops are slightly browned.
Cool tartlets in pans, then remove and serve.
Photography by Alan Benson.
As seen in Feast magazine, December 2011, Issue 4. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.