Rhubarb, rosewater and pistachio-frangipane tart

This exotic-sounding tart is perfect for afternoon tea.

Pistachio and rosewater is a Middle Eastern flavour pairing, but, teamed with rhubarb in this delicious tart, it’s just perfect served as part of a very British afternoon tea.

Rhubarb, rosewater and pistachio-frangipane tart (serves 4)


225g plain white flour
2tbspn icing sugar
110g butter

400g rhubarb
50g caster sugar
50ml water
1tbspn rosewater

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250g pistachios
250g butter, softened
but not greasy
250g sugar
4 eggs

Dried rose petals and chopped pistachios for scattering

Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and grease a 28cm tart tin with butter. Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl and either rub the butter in with your fingertips or use a processor.

When it resembles coarse breadcrumbs, add just enough water to bring it together with your hands (too much water will cause shrinkage during baking), then cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 20 minutes before rolling out to the thickness of a £1 coin.

Line the greased tin with pastry, fill with baking paper and beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for a further 10 minutes, covering the edges with foil if they’re browning too much. After removing the cooked tart case from the oven, lower temperature to 150ºC/300ºF/gas mark 2.

Trim the rhubarb and cut into 8cm lengths. Arrange in a single layer in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat, with the sugar and water, until just starting to soften. Remove from the heat and pour in the rosewater. Set aside, being sure to reserve the pan juices for later.

For the frangipane, blitz the pistachios in a processor until ground, but still slightly coarse. Beat together the butter and sugar, either in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk, adding the eggs gradually. Once combined, fold the ground pistachios through the mixture.

Spoon the frangipane into the tart case, being sure to leave space for the rhubarb.

Bake for 12–15 minutes before arranging the rhubarb pieces decoratively on top, then bake for a further 15–20 minutes, until lightly browned and slightly risen.

Scatter the tart with a few rose petals and chopped pistachios, drizzle with syrup from the rhubarb pan and serve.

More ways with rhubarb

rhubarb, rosewater and pistachio-frangipane tartPickled rhubarb with smoked mackerel
Cut up 4 stalks of rhubarb and stand them in a lidded jar with a few slices of fresh ginger and a scattering of peppercorns. Bring to a boil 150ml of apple-cider vinegar, 150g of sugar and 150ml of water in a saucepan, then pour into the jar so the liquid covers the rhubarb. Seal and leave for 48 hours, before serving with smoked-mackerel fillets.

Speedy rhubarb, apple and blackberry galette
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4 and cut a circle from a sheet of sweet shortcrust pastry. In a bowl, toss chunks of rhubarb, a couple of peeled and chopped apples and a few blackberries with grated ginger, a couple of tablespoons of cornflour and a sprinkling of sugar. Pile the fruit into the centre of the pastry, roughly pull up the sides, brush with egg and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 35–40 minutes and serve with ice cream.

Rhubarb-and-ginger crème brûlée
Cut rhubarb into chunks and cook in a pan with a little sugar and water until tender. Set aside. In a bowl, mix together 3 egg yolks and 40g of caster sugar. Bring to a simmer 300ml of double cream, 100ml of milk and a little vanilla-bean paste in
a pan, then pour a spoonful of the cream mixture into the eggs, adding more until combined. Return mixture to the heat to thicken. Spoon rhubarb into the bottom of ramekins and top with the cream. Sit the ramekins in an ovenproof dish half-filled with water and cook at a moderate heat for 30 minutes. Scatter with sugar and use a blowtorch to brûlée the tops before serving.