Do you ever find yourself drawn to make a particular recipe for no obvious reason, but you just want to have a go? This happens to me now and again, and the latest thing to scream ‘make me’ was in September’s edition of Cuisine magazine. I’m not sure why, but the little no bake Rhubarb and Rose Curd Tarts just called out to be made. I think it was the fact that 1) I would have to make a curd 2) I had pistachios to use up 3) another use for the edible rose petals I have in the cupboard.
A curd differs from all other types of preserves as it contains eggs and butter, and has a very similar in texture as custard. The eggs thicken up the mixture as it cooks, just as eggs thicken up cooked custard, and most curd recipes also call for butter just to add a little extra richness. Lemon curd is probably the curd we are all most familiar with, but curd can be made from many other fruit as well. Home made curd will last a few days only, unlike commercially bought curds.
For the rhubarb and rose curd you will need around 200g of rhubarb, finely chopped; 3/4 unrefined raw sugar; 2 large eggs; 25g cubed butter and rosewater (I used about 3/4 teaspoon, but you may want less or more according to your own tastes).
Put the rhubarb, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, partially covered with a lid. Reduce, and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the rhubarb is cooked and soft. Remove from the heat, let it cool slightly, before transferring to a blender, blending until smooth.
Whisk eggs with the remaining half cup of sugar, add the rhubarb puree and whisk to combine. Pour this into a saucepan with the butter and cook over a low hear, stirring continuously for 8-10 minutes or until thickened. Don’t let the mixture come up to a boil as the eggs will scramble – not at all what you want. Remove from the heat and add in the rosewater, then taste. Transfer to a sterilised glass jar, and allow to cool before storing in the fridge.
And while that is happening…make the crust for the tarts. The quantity in the recipe was supposed to be enough to fill a 12-hole mini muffin tin, but I found this only filled 10 of mine. If you don’t have a silicone one (I don’t), you need to line with plastic wrap or strips of baking paper, crisscrossed in the centre so you can lift the tarts out. This is really fiddly and annoying, so just be prepared mentally before start.
You will need 1/2 cup of blanched almonds and 1/4 cup of pistachio nuts, ground in whatever you use to do this (I use an old coffee grinder). Combine this with 1/3 cup of desiccated coconut and 1 and a half tablespoons of melted coconut oil (I used Cocavo as it has less saturated fat). Divide the mixture evenly between the mixture evenly between the muffin tins, using your fingers to press it evenly into the base and up the sides. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour until firm. Remove from the moulds, fill with the curd, decorate with rose petals and chopped pistachios. Eat with a cup of coffee after dinner for a sweet treat.
Verdict: the curd wasn’t as nice as I thought it would be. It lacked something, but am not sure what. However, the tarts themselves were lovely, and I did use some of the curd on top of goat’s cheese as part of breakfast. I’ll be eating it for the rest of the week….
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