Spring is the time for rhubarb and this rhubarb tart with lemon curd is a great way to kick off the season. This tart has the perfect balance of sweet and sour.
One of the things I look forward to in the spring is rhubarb. I am very fond of tart and sour flavors and I fell in love with rhubarb on my first bite. I have had strawberry and rhubarb pies and plain rhubarb tarts, however I love the combination of lemon and rhubarb. The sourness of the rhubarb is softened by the sweet tang of the lemon curd making it an excellent and light dessert. This dessert holds me over until I make my key lime pie.
Let's make a rhubarb tart
The stars of this dessert are the lemons and rhubarb. Simple flavors shine is this dessert. I promise that you will come back for seconds and thirds. Or you will like me and just make two at a time so it doesn’t lead to fights over food.
Rhubarb is a vegetable stalk. Once cut it looks like celery but while growing it looks similar to swiss chard. It grows in cool climates and is normally grown in the spring. It can range from a pale green to dark red almost scarlet in color. While it can be grown year round I have found that the rhubarb that is harvested between February and April to be the most flavorful.
Rhubarb is a tricky little vegetable. It looks like it is really dry but that isn’t the case. The minute you heat it up there is a ton of liquid that will be released. The other thing is that it has the potential to stain in the case of the red rhubarb. When making this recipe the rhubarb is cooked twice to make sure as much of the liquid is removed as possible.
This lemon curd has a larger quantity of cornstarch than is normally found in a recipe. This is due to making sure that it stays on top of the tart versus flowing down the sides once cut. This happened to me in one of my earlier iterations of this recipe. It is important to make sure that the curd has cooled before placing it on the tart and putting it in the refrigerator.
Fresh Rhubarb Tart with Lemon Curd
- Food processor
- 10 in tart pan
- Rolling Pin
- Fine mesh sieve
- Mixing Bowl
Brown Sugar Cornmeal Crust
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar packed
- ¾ cup butter unsalted, sliced
- 6 tbsp cold water
- 2 lbs rhubarb cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 4 egg yolks
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- ½ tbsp lemon zest
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 5 tbsp butter unsalted
Making the crust
- Place the flour, cornmeal, salt and brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse several times to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
- Pour the flour mixture into a mixing bowl and add 4 tablespoon of water. Using a spatula mix until the dough just barely holds itself together. If more water is needed add the remaining water a tablespoon at a time. Once it is holding together wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Making the rhubarb filling
- Make the filling while the crust is cooling by adding the rhubarb and brown sugar into a saucepan, place on the stove and on medium high heat bring cook the rhubarb. The rhubarb will release a lot of liquid. Stir occasionally so it does not burn. The rhubarb will breakdown and start to fall apart. This will take about 10 minutes.
- While the rhubarb is cooking mix the lemon juice, vanilla and cornstarch together to create a slurry. Once the rhubarb has cooked remove from the heat and add the cornstarch mixture. Allow the filling to cool. Warm filling will cause the butter in the crust to start melting.
Baking the tart
- Preheat oven to 350°F or gas mark 4.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out thinly to fit a 10 in tart pan. Trim the edges and then add the rhubarb filling. Bake for 45 minutes. The curst will start to darken but not by much.
Making the lemon curd
- While the tart is baking in a saucepan heat the sugar, salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water on medium high until all of the sugar melts and the liquid boils. While waiting for the liquid to boil in a mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together.
- Once the liquid has reached boiling remove from the heat. Add about a fourth of the lemon water to the egg yolks. Stir to prevent the yolks from cooking. Add it back to the rest of the mixture and return to the heat.
- Stir continuously until the curd thickens and begins to boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Once this has cooled you can top to rhubarb tart with it. If you prefer a smoother curd strain through a fine mesh sieve first and then spread on top of the rhubarb.
- Allow to cool to room temp before cooling for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.