Rhubarb Custard Torte

Slice of Rhubarb Custard Torte on white plate
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.  Some other tips when making this recipe are, first, don’t overbake the base as it will become hard and somewhat tough.  And, second, add the sugar slowly, a tablespoon at a time while continuing to beat the eggs.

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 all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
2 tbsp sugar

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

Lightly grease 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 while preparing filling.

Custard Filling:
1¼ cups sugar
3½ tbsp all-purpose flour
½ cup whole milk, evaporated milk, or blend
3 large egg yolks
2¼ cups chopped rhubarb, chopped into 1/2″ pieces.

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 and rhubarb is softened.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 400F. Spread rhubarb custard over cooled shortbread base.

Meringue:
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
¼ cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Place the egg whites and cream of tarter in bowl of stand mixer and beat on high speed until eggs are foamy.  Gradually add the ¼ cup white sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in the vanilla just to blend.

Spread meringue evenly over rhubarb custard, ensuring custard is completely covered to the pan edges.

Bake for 5-6 minutes, or just until meringue starts to brown.

Cool completely before serving.

Yield: 9 servings

Close-up of rhubarb custard torte
Rhubarb Custard Torte

Enjoy with a fine cup of coffee or tea.

Slice of Rhubarb Custard Torte on white plate
Rhubarb Custard Torte

 

For other great rhubarb dessert recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Rhubarb Pudding Cake
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb Custard Torte

Delightful dessert featuring shortbread base covered with a cooked rhubarb custard and topped with a meringue.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword torte, rhubarb, rhubarb torte
Servings 9
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

Shortbread Base:

  • ½ cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Custard Filling:

  • cups sugar
  • tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole milk, evaporated milk, or blend
  • 3 large egg yolks (reserve whites for the meringue)
  • cups rhubarb, chopped into ½” pieces

Meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ tsp vanilla

Instructions

Shortbread Base:

  1. Cream butter. Mix in flour, salt, and sugar.
  2. Lightly grease 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 while preparing filling.

Custard Filling:

  1. 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 and rhubarb is softened. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°Spread cooled rhubarb custard over cooled shortbread base.

Meringue:

  1. Place the egg whites and cream of tarter in bowl of stand mixer and beat on high speed until eggs are foamy. Gradually add the ¼ cup white sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in the vanilla just to blend. Spread meringue evenly over rhubarb custard, ensuring custard is completely covered to the pan edges. Bake for 5-6 minutes, or just until meringue starts to brown.
  2. Cool completely before serving.

Recipe Notes

Yield: 9 servings

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Slice of Rhubarb Custard Torte on White Plate
Rhubarb Custard Torte