350g shortcrust pastry, defrosted if frozen
400g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into short lengths
225g golden caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling
150g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla powder
50g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
- Roll the pastry out thinly and use to line a deep 23cm fluted tart tin. Prick the base, line with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and cook for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and parchment and bake for a further 5 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through.
- Meanwhile, toss together the rhubarb and 75g sugar. Put the mixture in an ovenproof dish and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the rhubarb is just tender but still holding its shape.
- Turn the oven down to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Using electric beaters, whisk together the butter, eggs, almonds, baking powder, vanilla powder, flour and remaining 150g sugar, until very soft. Place ½ the rhubarb in the base of the pastry case. Spread the almond mixture over the top, then scatter over the remaining rhubarb. Sprinkle with the extra 1 tbsp sugar and bake for 45 minutes, until golden (cover loosely with foil if it starts to brown on top).
- Leave to cool, then serve with custard, ice cream or crème fraiche.
- The choice of seasonal UK grown fruit available in February/March is limited with rhubarb one of the few fruits in season.
- You can enjoy fruit out of season by making fruit into jams and preserves or cooking and freezing portions.
- Naturally encased fruits which can be allowed to ripen such as melons, oranges, bananas and are transported by ship have a fairly low carbon footprint.
- You can scatter pomegranate seeds to garnish this desert.
- Avoid buying soft fruits like raspberries and strawberries out of season as these will have been transported by air and have a high carbon footprint.