rhubarb, rosewater + cardamom custard tart

^say that 3-times fast, drunk, and I’ll bake you one of these 😉Rhubarb, rosewater and cardamom custard tart | Tolley BakesAs with most of my baked goods, this tart started with a challenging new ingredient: Mum brought me a bottle of rosewater when she and Dad came to visit a few weekends ago, and I had no idea what to do with it. Pinterest is always a good place to start for inspiration, but most of the rosewater combinations on it involved raspberries {hello, it’s March, not gonna happen} or pistachios {woah there – two unfamiliar ingredients was a step too far}.  The other ingredient it was paired with was rhubarb, so that was that.

Rhubarb ready for roasting | Tolley BakesRoasted rhubarb syrup | Tolley BakesI hail from God’s Own County – i.e. Yorkshire – where we have God’s Own Rhubarb Triangle; a trio of country towns where the majority of the nation’s forced rhubarb is grown around this time of year. I was hoping to get some in the supermarket, shopping seasonally and all that, but all I could find was rhubarb from the Netherlands. Frustrating, particularly as if I’d been at home, I could have gone and got rhubarb from the garden, let alone the Triangle.Cardamom pastry, all rolled out | Tolley BakesRoast Rhubarb | Tolley BakesBut anyway, foodie first world problems aside, the little I knew about rosewater was that it is typically used in Middle Eastern cuisine. To amp up those flavours I also used some ground cardamom in the pastry, because I have an open packet that never seems to end {see also: chai spiced rollscardamom + chocolate brioche rollscardamom + orange blondies}. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Bake Offs past, it’s that too much rosewater is never a good thing. – and from my Pinterest research it appears that different brands of rosewater can vary massively in their potency. Start small, and don’t underestimate how the flavour will develop over time.

Rhubarb, Rosewater and Cardamom Custard Tart

This recipe is based on Edd Kimber’s rhubarb and custard tart.


Cardamom Pastry:
  • 225g plain flour
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 140g cold, unsalted butter, in small chunks
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp cold water
Crème Pâtissière {Custard}:
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 whole egg + 2 egg yolks
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 25g cornflour
  • ½ – ¾ tsp rosewater {I used Steenbergs}
  • 400g bag of rhubarb
  • 95g caster sugar
  • lemon juice
  • pinch of ground cardamom



Measure out the flour, icing sugar and cardamom into a mixing bowl for the pastry. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingers until you have something resembling breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolk and the water and stir together, then tip out onto a clean surface and knead gently until it comes together. You shouldn’t need to add any more liquid.

Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and put in the fridge to chill.

Crème Pâtissière:

Put the egg and yolks into a heatproof bowl along with the caster sugar and cornflour and whisk together well.

Pour the milk and vanilla into a saucepan and heat until it comes to the boil.

Pour the hot milk into the eggs in a thin, steady stream, whilst whisking the mixture.

Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan and heat until the mixture thickens, continuing to whisk. Cook for a few more minutes, then take off the heat.

Put the mixture through a sieve to get rid of any lumps and stir in the rosewater, a few drops at a time, testing the taste as you go.

Cover with clingfilm, ensuring that the clingfilm touches the surface of the creme pat directly. Chill in the fridge.


Preheat your oven to 160*C {fan-forced}.

Trim the ends off the rhubarb. Line the stalks over your tart dish and trim them to fit, leaving a little excess.

Arrange the stems on a lined baking tray, and sprinkle with the sugar, cardamom and a good glug of lemon juice.

Bake for 20 minutes and leave to cool.

Back to the pastry:

Whilst the rhubarb is roasting, get the pastry out of the fridge and roll it to fit your tart tin.

Return the lined tart tin to the fridge to chill whilst the rhubarb is still in the oven.

Line the pastry with some greaseproof paper and weigh down with rice, spare change or baking beans.

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the paper and weights and bake for another 5.

Set aside to cool.


Get the creme pat out of the fridge and mix well, then pour into the tart case.

Arrange the rhubarb on top, trimming the ends with scissors if necessary.

To make it neater, you can trim the overhanging pastry if there is any.


2 thoughts on “rhubarb, rosewater + cardamom custard tart

  1. Love the sound of this Hannah – you just can’t beat rhubarb and custard! But the idea of adding rosewater and cardamoms is something I need to try, sounds gorgeous. I know just what you mean about the rhubarb in the supermarkets. I managed to find some forced rhubarb (from the triangle) at our local supermarket but it was all mixed in with the regular grown stuff which had travelled miles & miles.
    Angela x
    PS – I failed dismally at your opening task and no, I wasn’t even drunk! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly Angela, they’re a classic pairing. And it’s just silly isn’t it, when there’s so much good stuff on our doorstep!
      Thanks so much for commenting ☺️
      Hannah x


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