Tag Archives: Rhubarb Torte

Rhubarb Custard Torte

Rhubarb Custard Torte
Rhubarb Custard Torte

The rhubarb in my garden is ready for using.  I am fascinated by how fast it grows.  While I freeze a substantial amount for use over the winter, there is nothing like scooting out to the garden to pick some fresh rhubarb just at the time I am making a recipe.

I have my usual, regular recipes that I make every year with rhubarb and generally try one or two new ones.  One of my all-time favorites is Rhubarb Custard Torte.  We’ve been making this recipe in our family for as long as I can remember.  It’s not overly difficult to make but it does take time since there are three stages to it:  1) the shortbread base; 2) the rhubarb custard filling; and 3) the meringue.

The most tricky part is making the rhubarb custard and ensuring it doesn’t scorch while it is cooking and thickening.  To ensure this doesn’t happen, cook it at medium-low temperature and stir it constantly.  A couple of other tips when making this recipe are, first, don’t overbake the base as it will become hard and somewhat tough.  Second, when making the meringue, make sure the egg whites, the bowl, and beater are all cold and add the sugar slowly.

I love the rich, ruby red color of the rhubarb!  Use the brightest red rhubarb you can find as it will give great color to your recipe.

Rhubarb Custard Torte

Shortbread Base:
½ cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup flour
Pinch salt
2 tbsp sugar

Cream butter. Mix in flour, salt, and sugar.

Lightly spray cooking oil into 8”x8” pan and press shortbread mixture evenly into pan.

Bake in 325ºF oven for 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on rack.

Custard Filling:
1¼ cups sugar
3½ tbsp flour
½ cup whole milk, evaporated milk, or blend
3 large egg yolks (reserve whites in refrigerator for the meringue)
2¼ cups chopped rhubarb

In medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugar and flour. Blend in the milk. Whisk in the egg yolks. Over medium-low heat, cook mixture just until hot (not boiling), stirring constantly. Add the rhubarb. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Then, spread rhubarb custard over cooled shortbread base.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Meringue:
3 cold egg whites
¼ cup sugar

In chilled bowl of stand mixer, beat the three egg whites on high speed until foamy. Gradually add the ¼ cup white sugar and beat on high speed until soft peaks form.

Spread meringue evenly over rhubarb custard, ensuring custard is completely covered.

Bake for 7-10 minutes, just until meringue starts to brown.

Cool completely before serving.

Yield: 9 servings

Enjoy with a fine cup of coffee or tea.

Lady’s Slipper Afternoon Tea

Lady's Slipper - The Provincial Flower of Prince Edward Island
Lady’s Slipper – The Provincial Flower of Prince Edward Island

June brings a plethora of flowers to bloom on Prince Edward Island.  None are more exquisite than the Lady’s Slipper, so named because its petals form a shape that resembles a slipper.  This member of the orchid family blooms on the Island in late May – June in moist, wooded areas, often under spruce, beechwood, or pine trees.

The Lady’s Slipper was adopted as the Island’s provincial flower on April 24, 1947.

If you come across these beautiful orchids that bloom in both pink and white in PEI, please just admire and enjoy them in their natural surroundings or take some photographs of them.  Please do not pick these natural flowers as that will affect their seed for continued growth on the Island.  They also do not transplant well and generally do not survive outside their natural habitat.  All the more reason why they should just be enjoyed where they are found.

The close-up photograph below shows the petals of the Lady’s Slipper.  I think the shape resembles an animal of some sort!

A few months ago, at a flea market, I came across a lovely plate with the Lady’s Slipper on it.  It is by Royal Adderley of England.  I bought the cake plate and moved along a few tables where I discovered a matching cup and saucer from a different vendor.  Of course, those purchases set my mind to thinking about an afternoon tea featuring the Lady’s Slipper china.

For the menu, I wanted to also feature some local, seasonal food product.  Rhubarb is still available on the Island so my choice was to start with a refreshing Rhubarb Cordial and serve a Rhubarb Torte with a good quality Assam tea.

Rhubarb Cordial
Rhubarb Cordial

Rhubarb Cordial makes a wonderful, refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day.  I garnished the drink with a wedge of watermelon, a sprig of mint from our herb garden, and a tiny pansy.

The “pièce de résistance” is the luscious Rhubarb Torte.  Our rhubarb season will soon be drawing to a close but I just had to have one more rhubarb dessert before that happens.  Of course, I have bags of it stored away in my freezer to enjoy throughout the year.

Rhubarb Torte
Rhubarb Torte

This torte features a graham wafer crumb base, followed by rhubarb sauce, smothered in whipped cream and marshmallows, and topped with vanilla pudding.  It’s as showy and colorful as it is tasty!  I love how the pudding on top looks translucent.

These tiny shortbread cookies, decorated in pink, just seemed the fitting addition for the Lady’s Slipper plate.

The photo below shows the detail in the plate design.

And the matching cup and saucer is filled with Assam tea.

The Rhubarb Cordial and the Rhubarb Torte make for a colorful tea table!

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