I feel like I should apologise for sharing another tart quite so soon. I do try so hard not to cook the same thing or, at least, the same type of thing too many times in a row.

I am, however, slightly obsessed with pastry now I’ve discovered that I am not actually incapable of making it. I pretty much want to throw anything and everything into a pastry case.

Also though, and far more excitingly, rhubarb has arrived!!

At a time of year when seasonal produce is distinctly green (kale, leeks, apples, pears), the glorious pink of forced rhubarb is a welcome change.

Forced rhubarb is mainly grown in the north of the UK. After a couple of years of growing in the fields, the plants are moved inside and they spent the rest of their days growing in the dark. The stalks picked by the flicker of candlelight to prevent any sunlight interfering with their growth. There is something magical about the whole process, steeped in our agricultural heritage and resisting modern technological advances. It is sweeter than the rhubarb that you get in the summer and more pink. Far more gloriously pink. Even when cooked, the rhubarb is pink enough to shock.

While last week’s tart was elegant and refined; this is something a little more rustic. The edges were rough, the pastry was not rolled as thinly as it could be. Halfway through making the pastry, I invited my best friend and her fiancé for lunch with the promise of a freshly-baked rhubarb tart. Which meant I had to make the rhubarb tart slightly more speedily than my usual leisurely Saturday morning pace.

Luckily my friends are nice enough not to notice the deficiencies and we enjoyed (several) helpings with a heaped scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was an excellent way to spend a Saturday afternoon.


Rhubarb crumble tart

Pastry adapted from Sharpham Park

Yield: Serves 8

I used the spelt pastry recipe that I made last week for my apple and honey tart although I increased the proportion of whole wheat to white spelt flour to 50:50 and it seemed to work perfectly well. Forced rhubarb is much sweeter and more delicate in flavour than its summer relative so I used as little sugar in the filling as I can get away with to keep it as tart as possible. Because, really, what is rhubarb without that wonderful tartness? 

  • Pastry to line a 22cm tin (I used this spelt pastry recipe again with a bit more whole wheat spelt flour in there)

For the filling:

  • 400g (12 oz) rhubarb, chopped into 2cm pieces
  • 55g (1/4 cup) unrefined caster/granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the crumble topping:

  • 15g (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, cold
  • 30g (1 tablespoon) unrefined caster/granulated sugar
  • 30g (1/4 cup) flour (I used whole wheat spelt flour)

Line a 22cm tin with your pastry and put in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line the pastry case with parchment paper and baking bins and blind bake for about 10 minute. Remove the paper and beans and bake for another 5 -10 minutes until the pastry is just turning brown.
While you are baking the pastry, make the filling by putting the rhubarb in a pan with the sugar and the lemon zest. Cook over a medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until the rhubarb is soft but still retains a bit of structure. You might want to have a quick taste to assess whether it needs any more sugar.
Set aside to cool for a few minutes while you make the crumble topping by rubbing together the butter, sugar and flour until you have something that resembles breadcrumbs.
Pour the rhubarb filling into the pastry case and scatter with the crumble topping.
Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably with vanilla ice cream.

29 Responses to "rhubarb crumble tart"
  1. I’m gazing out of the window at the snow outside. It’s pretty deep; so much so that the cats are refusing to go out. I turn back to my computer and find this. This looks so amazing – I could do with some now, served warm, with a guzzle* of cream. (*a guzzle is my word for significantly more than a dribble). :)

  2. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    the pink of this tart is gorgeous! Forced rhubarb grows so quickly it squeaks, it is one of the eeriest things I have ever heard!

  3. Ooh yum, I love the idea of rhubarb crumble in tart form – so much more elegant! As for the colour? Gorgeous, I love that shocking pink.

  4. Oh, rhubarb. Rhubarb is the way to my heart. I love it so. I just discovered it about 5 years ago, and I feel cheated that I didn’t grow up with it. My grandpa used to run the lawn mower over their rhubarb patch because after 50 years, they were tired of it. Sigh.

  5. Joanne says:

    we still have a few months before rhubarb will appear here but I can’t wait so that I can make this!

  6. Oh, you always get me with your gorgeous photos! I’d take a slice of this any day!!!

  7. dana says:

    This looks lovely. Tarts are practically the only dessert I can get my husband to eat as he’s kind of a sugar phobe (a good thing as far as I’m concerned). Fruit tarts are more doable for him though. Lovely recipe, will try soon!

  8. You really make the prettiest tarts and pies ever. I just would love to have one with you while I’m in London!! ;)

  9. Kathryn, I am nominating you for The Versatile Blogger award and Very Inspiring Blogger award.
    I love London Bakes and your recipes. Congratulations!
    Info and rules are here –

  10. Emma Gardner says:

    Ooooh this looks gorgeous! I want some drowned in custard please :) Glad you’re enjoying pastry making more too!

  11. I absolutely love rhubarb. Rhubarb crumble has always been my favourite, even at school dinners. I made a rhubarb and berry crumble this week and managed to keep some leftover rhubarb for another bake so I haven’t stopped thinking about this amazing ingredient all week :)

  12. Keep the tarts coming, Kathryn! I love your photos of this too! I am drooling!

  13. LIZ says:

    Anything to do with rhubarb and you got me! Love the stuff and I especially love baking with it. I will be trying this for sure but not for another few months when it’s in season here!

  14. Elvira says:

    I’m embarassed to say that I have never tasted rhubarb in my entire life! I absolutely need to get some and give your recipe a try. Thanks!

  15. Ondina Maria says:

    You just made me want to leave the home and grab the first bunch of rhubarb in the supermarket. Unfortunatelly, here is Porto is not an easy thing to find :(
    But I’ll definatellt try this tart as soon as I bump into the pink pretty!

  16. Bernideen says:

    Looks wonderful and I am printing it out!

  17. David says:

    Served with custard this would be my dessert heaven. Especially when it’s snowing!

  18. Sarah says:

    YUM! I wish we could get forced rhubarb here is Australia, the colour is just beautiful.

  19. Erin says:

    That’s really interesting about how rhubarb can be grown. I had no idea!

  20. I’ve never baked with rhubarb before but I do like anything with the word “crumble” in the title :)

  21. Definitely in love with this “rustic” tart! I still haven’t tried rhubarb yet but that really needs to change asap!

  22. Rachel says:

    Ah this looks delicious…! I love the fact that it doesn’t quite know whether it’s a crumble or a pie. And warm dessert like this would definitely go down well with this week’s snowy weather – I may just have to try it out!

  23. Such a lovely tart. I’ve never baked with rhubarb but I must try to! Thanks for sharing, Kathryn.

  24. I’m so glad the tarts keep making appearances – they are gorgeous. I have the same problem, once I find a recipe I like making I just make one after another after another.

  25. Ashley says:

    Your rhubarb is so vibrant!! I absolutely love cooking + baking with rhubarb. I even have a lemon rhubarb doughnut in the book! :)

  26. Rhubarb’s arrived?! Whaaat? We still only have apples and oranges. Weee!

    It’s a gorgeous color and the tart looks fantastic. I’m all for tarts. Post more even. :)

  27. abby mifsud says:

    This sounds delicious :) I love that you used spelt and whole wheat flour – I’m just imagining a bit of earthiness to a sweet tarty flavour and I want to try a bite right now. I am on a savoury tart kick lately – and it looks like I’m going to have to cross over to the sweet side :)

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