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Baked Egg Custard and Lemon Tart with Roasted Rhubarb

1. Place the flour, salt, butter, yolks and water into a food processor and whiz until the ingredients just come together. Beware not to over-process or the pastry will become tough. Bring the pastry together with your hands and pat into a flat disc shape. Wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for 20 minutes. This allows the pastry to relax, making it easier to roll out and line the tin. It also prevents the pastry shrinking too much during cooking. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface just a little bigger than the tart tin. Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and carefully drape it over the tart tin. Carefully press the pastry into the tin and cut off excess from the edges, leaving 1cm of pastry above the tin. Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans.

3. Bake for 10 minutes until the pastry has set in shape. Remove the beans and paper and continue to bake for a further 8-10 minutes or until cooked and lightly golden. Reduce the oven to 160C/300F/Gas 3.

4. Place the cream and thyme leaves in a pan and heat the cream to a gentle simmer. In a mixing bowl whisk together the whole eggs, yolks and sugar. Carefully whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture. Pour into the pastry case and carefully place in the oven.

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is firm in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Dust the top of the tart lightly with icing sugar. Caramelise the top with a small blow-torch or simply place under a pre-heated, very hot grill, moving the tart around to get an even, golden colour.

6. Best served warm with roasted rhubarb.

For the Roasted Rhubarb
Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas 6. Cut 675g/1½lb rhubarb into 2.5cm/1in pieces and place in a shallow roasting tray. Scatter over 125g/4½ oz caster sugar and roast for 12-15 minutes until tender, but rhubarb still retaining its shape. Set aside to cool slightly before transferring to a serving dish.
Skills Covered
[For the butter pastry crust]
280g/10oz plain flour
pinch salt
140g/5oz unsalted butter, cut into small dice
2 medium egg yolks
2tbsp cold water
[For the filling]
400ml/14fl oz double cream
small bunch lemon thyme, leaves picked from stalks
3 medium eggs
3 medium egg yolks
100g/3½ oz caster sugar
icing sugar for glazing
26cm loose-bottomed tart tin
Baked Egg Custard and Lemon Tart with Roasted Rhubarb
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