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Patrice Demers’ Rhubarb Tart With Rosewater Custard

This recipe from Patrice Demers for Rhubarb Tart with Rosewater Custard makes the most of in-season rhubarb.

Taking the time to make your mother a lovely dessert for Mother’s Day is guaranteed to make her very happy. And this one will leave her ecstatic. The recipe is taken from Les Desserts de Patrice (Les Éditions de l’Homme, 2012). It marries spring rhubarb to fragrant rosewater and is another instant classic from Quebec’s most celebrated patissier.

Pastry (pâte sucrée):

150 g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened
90 g (3/4 cup) icing sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
Zest of one lemon
220 g (1½ cups) AP flour
50 g (1/2 cup) ground almonds
1 pinch salt
1 egg + 1 yolk

Almond crumble:

100 g (1 cup) ground almonds
100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
100 g (2/3 cup) AP flour
½ tsp salt
115 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

Rhubarb Topping:

400 g (3 cups) rhubarb stalk, cut into 3 cm pieces
50 g (1/4 cup) + 2 tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp corn starch

Rosewater Custard:

28 g (2 tbsp) sugar
3 g (1 tsp) cornstarch
1 egg
60 g (1/4 cup) whipping cream
1 tsp rosewater

To make the pastry, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, and beat until creamy – about 1 minute. Add the flour, ground almonds, and salt, and mix until incorporated. Add the egg, then the egg yolk, and continue mixing until the ingredients combine to form a dough. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and transfer to the refrigerator to rest for a minimum of 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).

Transfer dough to the countertop and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes (or, warm it in your hands until it becomes malleable). On a floured work surface roll the dough to an even thickness of 50 mm (1/4”). Carefully transfer to a long rectangular tart tin (11 x 35 cm / 4” x 11”) with a removable bottom (or use another shape, of a comparable area). Gently press the dough into the corners, trim to fit, and transfer to the refrigerator for a minimum of 15 minutes. Prick the chilled pastry with a fork, cover with parchment paper, and fill with dried beans. Transfer to the middle rack of the oven to bake until golden – about 20 minutes. Let cool on the countertop.

To make the almond crumble, combine the ground almonds, sugar, flour and salt in a mixing bowl, and mix well. Add the butter, and work in with the hands until the mixture holds together when compressed. Crumble the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside.

To make the rhubarb filling, combine the rhubarb and 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar in an oven proof casserole and transfer to the middle rack of the oven to bake until the rhubarb softens and loses some of its moisture – about 15 minutes. In a small bowl combine 2 tsp sugar and the cornstarch, and mix well. Transfer the lightly cooked rhubarb mixture to a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with the cornstarch mixture, mix gently with a spatula, and set aside.

To make the rosewater custard, combine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and mix well. Crack the egg into a mixing bowl, and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Once combined, whisk in the cream and then the rosewater.

To finish, add the rhubarb mixture to the cooked tart shell, distributing it as evenly as possible. Pour the rosewater custard over top. Then sprinkle with almond crumble to cover. Transfer tart to the middle rack of the oven and bake until the crumble is lightly browned – about 30 minutes. Set aside on a rack to cool and set for 20-30 minutes before serving.

You can visit Patrice Patissier in Montreal.

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