Isn’t rhubarb brilliant? Every spring I hold my breath, awaiting eagerly those flashes of pink nestled amongst the dull cabbages, potatoes and roots of early spring.
Then I go a little crazy, tying to get my hands on as much as I can. I bottle it, make it into compote (and freeze it), jam it, chutney some and make as many crumbles and pies with it that I can.
Technically a vegetable, rhubarb is best known for its addition to homely, comforting crumbles. However, it’s sharpness means it’s also great paired in savoury dishes, cutting through fatty flavours and adding a welcome tang to stodgy winter dishes.
But this isn’t a recipe for a savoury tart – this is a regular sweet one! And it’s vegan! And it’s very quick to make! It’s also a ‘freeform’ pie or galette, so no need for any fancy tins or equipment – aren’t I good to you? The marzipan base of this tart makes a good replacement for frangipane and goes lovely and sticky if you leave it till the next day.
Vegan rhubarb and marzipan tart
Serves 8 – prep 15 min – cook 45 min
NB: I’m using bought shortcrust pastry here as I find making vegan pastry really hard and the shop bought stuff is much better than my version. Feel free to make your own if you have a good recipe and a lighter touch that I do.
- 1 pack pre-rolled vegan shortcrust pastry, I use Jus-Rol (their standard pastry is vegan friendly, who knew!)
- 4-5 rhubarb stalks, trimmed and cut into 2cm lengths – cut any thick pieces in half lengthways
- 400g shop bought marzipan – (also vegan, though do check the packaging)
- 1 tblsp served cornflour
- Zest of two oranges
- 3 tbsp golden caster or light brown sugar
- Take your pastry out of the fridge to warm up, according to pack instructions. Jus-Rol requires 45 mins at room temperature before use. But if you have a super warm kitchen I’d drop this to 30 mins. When ready unroll onto a lightly dusted baking sheet and set aside.
- Put the oven onto 160c (fan).
- Lightly dust a board with flour and roll out the marzipan to the same shape as the pastry, but 8cm less on each side. Lay centrally on the pastry, leaving 5cm at each side.
- Put the prepped rhubarb in a bowl with the sugar, cornflour and orange zest, toss to coat.
- Lay the rhubarb out on the marzipan part of the tart only, leaving 5cm of pastry on all sides. If any of the sugar/zest is still in the bowl, crumble over the rhubarb.
- Close the 5cm extra pastry up over the ends of the rhubarb and pinch into place. Place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
- Once the rhubarb tart is chilled take out. You don’t need to ‘egg wash’ the tart, but if you have some vegan milk or aqua faba you can use that. Don’t use oil, as the vegan pastry is oil based, so it just seeps in and makes the pastry too short.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the pastry has browned and the rhubarb softened.
- Serve with vegan custard, ice cream or custard – all go ridiculously well.
I like my rhubarb pretty tart, so add more sugar if you need it. However, remember the marzipan packs a big old sugary punch, so you don’t need so much for the rhubarb!
Add 2tsp ground ginger to the sugar, cornflour and zest to mix things up. Or to your pastry if you’re making your own.
You can eat this rhubarb tart warm from the oven, just give it ten minutes to settle. This will ensure you don’t take the skin off the roof of your mouth.
This tart keeps well overnight. Don’t store it in the fridge, just cover it on the worktop. The rhubarb can get quite juicy, so if you aren’t eating it straight away I’d (carefully) pour off some of that juice to stop the pastry from going too soggy.