Vegan Rhubarb Custard Tart

This delicious vegan rhubarb custard tart has a creamy homemade vanilla custard filling with sweet tart baked rhubarb on a gluten-free shortbread crust. This dessert is perfect for making the most of rhubarb season!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
4.5 from 4 votes
flatlay of rectangular custard tart with rhubarb on top and knife next to it.

It’s rhubarb season here in Ireland and what better match is there than tart sweet rhubarb and creamy vanilla custard? This recipe was adapted from my Rhubarb Custard Tart (No-Bake) last year, which had a no-bake crust. This year I’ve made a few slight changes to the recipe and added a delicious baked shortbread crust.

THIS RECIPE IS:

  • Made with homemade custard
  • Perfect for rhubarb season
  • Creamy and light
  • Tangy and sweet
  • Great for spring or summer
 

HOW TO COOK RHUBARB (WITHOUT IT TURNING TO MUSH!)

I get it, you either love rhubarb or hate it. But the thing with rhubarb is it needs to be cooked right to shine. A lot of the time rhubarb is overcooked and mushy – let’s not do that! I’ve found that the best way to maintain that beautiful pink hue in the rhubarb stems is to bake them as apposed to stewing. Just sprinkle them with sugar, cover with foil and bake. They will soften up and cook whilst holding that hot pink colour!

vegan rhubarb custard tart

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED?

  • Ground flaxseeds: flaxseed is mixed with water to create a “flax-egg” which will help bind the crust together and ensure it doesn’t get too crumbly when you slice into it.
  • All purpose flour: you can use gluten-free all purpose if you want to keep this recipe suitable for coeliacs or gluten-free diets.
  • Ground almonds: almonds will add flavour to the shortbread crust. Feel free to substitute them with more all-purpose flour if you want to keep the recipe more budget friendly and nut-free!
  • Coconut sugar: I love using coconut sugar as a sweetener for tart crusts as it gives a wonderful but very slight caramelised flavour to the pastry.
  • Sea salt: always add some salt for flavour.
  • Vegan butter: you can use coconut oil instead if you’d prefer, but I really like the flavour vegan butter gives to the crust.
  • Vanilla soya milk and soya yoghurt: these ingredients form the base for the custard filling, I usually go for soya milk and yoghurt that already have vanilla flavour added as they create a wonderful intense vanilla taste. But you can also use plain soya milk and yoghurt with a little extra vanilla (see recipe notes).
  • Cornstarch: known as cornflour in Ireland and the UK, this is what thickens up the custard.
  • Pure maple syrup: as well as being an amazing natural sweetener this adds flavour and colour to the custard.
  • Vanilla extract: extra vanilla because it’s custard and we need that vanilla flavour to really shine!
  • Agar agar powder: this is the setting agent for the tart. Omitting the agar will keep this as a runnier custard which isn’t great for a tart that needs to be sliced, but would be perfect if you’re serving it alongside some pie!
  • Rhubarb: look for the brightest, pinkest stems you can find, and preferably use thinner stalks because they look prettier when arranged on top of the custard tart.
  • Caster sugar: you can use any sugar you want here just note that not all white sugar is vegan-friendly in the US, so it’s safest to opt for organic sugar which doesn’t use non-vegan processing methods.
 

HOW TO MAKE THIS VEGAN RHUBARB CUSTARD TART

(Full recipe and instructions in recipe card at the end of this page)

There are three parts to making this delicious vegan tart, the shortbread crust, the creamy custard filling and the baked rhubarb topping. I recommend preparing the rhubarb while the crust is in the oven, and then baking it while the crust cools so that you don’t need to preheat your oven twice! The custard is best made when the tart has cooled so that you can transfer it into the tart shell as soon as it’s ready. Otherwise the custard may start to set in the saucepan!

SHORTBREAD CRUST

  • Preheat the oven and grease your  14″ cake tin with removable base with some cooking oil and line the base with a sheet of parchment paper
  • Flaxseed acts as the binding agent and egg substitute for the shortbread crust. When water is added, flax swells up and forms a gel-like consistency. Make a “flax egg” by adding the ground flaxseeds to a bowl with 2.5 tsp water. Stir and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes.
  • In your food processor, combine all of the ingredients (flour, ground almonds, vegan butter, coconut sugar, salt and flax egg) until the ingredients stick together to form a dough.
  • Evenly press the dough into the base and sides of the tart tin and use a fork to prick several holes into the base. Bake the crust for 12-15 minutes then allow to cool (do not remove the tart from the tin). Leave the oven on for the rhubarb.
 

BAKE THE RHUBARB

  • Wash the rhubarb stalks and cut them into strips to fit horizontally across the top of your tart. Line a baking dish with some parchment paper and lay out the rhubarb stalks. Coat them in the caster sugar and cover the dish with a lid or some extra parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes and allow to cool completely. Reserve the syrup for serving.
 

PREPARE THE CUSTARD

  • For the custard first add the soya milk, sieved cornstarch and agar-agar to a saucepan and whisk well. I recommend sifting the cornflour to remove any excess lumps. Add in the remaining ingredients and place on a medium heat until simmering. Vigorously whisk the mixture over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
  • Allow the custard to cool slightly for 5 minutes, whisk well again and pour the custard into the cooled tart crust. Allow the filling to come to room temperature for 10-15 minutes and place the tart in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or until set.
  • Arrange the rhubarb strips on top of the tart. Serve the tart with some of the reserved rhubarb syrup.
 

vegan rhubarb custard tart

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vegan custard tart

flatlay of rectangular custard tart with rhubarb on top and knife next to it.

Vegan Rhubarb Custard Tart

4.5 from 4 votes
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This delicious vegan Rhubarb Custard Tart has a creamy vanilla custard filling with sweet tart rhubarb on a gluten-free shortbread crust. This tart is perfect for making the most of rhubarb season!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Chilling Time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Servings 8

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 cup Gluten-free all purpose flour or regular all purpose flour if not GF
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

FILLING

  • 1 ½ cups vanilla soya milk *see notes
  • 1 cup vanilla soya yoghurt *see notes
  • ½ cup cornstarch (cornflour)
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp agar agar powder
  • pinch sea salt

TOPPING

  • 7-8 stalks rhubarb
  • ¼ cup caster sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease sides of a 14" rectangular tart tin with some cooking oil and line the base with a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Make a "flax egg" by adding the ground flaxseeds to a bowl with 2.5 tsp water. Stir and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes.
  • In your food processor, combine the flour, ground almonds, vegan butter, coconut sugar, salt and flax egg until the ingredients stick together to form a dough.
  • Evenly press the dough into the base and sides of the tart tin and use a fork to prick several holes into the base. Bake the crust for 12-15 minutes then allow to cool (do not remove the tart from the tin). Leave the oven on for the rhubarb.
  • Wash the rhubarb stalks and cut them into strips to fit horizontally across the top of your tart.Line a baking dish with some parchment paper and lay out the rhubarb stalks. Coat them in the caster sugar and cover the dish with a lid or some extra parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes and allow to cool completely. Reserve the syrup for serving.
  • For the custard first add the soya milk, cornstarch and agar-agar to a saucepan and whisk well. Add in the remaining ingredients and place on a medium heat until simmering. Vigorously whisk the mixture over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
  • Allow the custard to cool slightly for 5 minutes, whisk well again and pour the custard into the cooled tart crust. Allow the filling to come to room temperature for 10-15 minutes and place the tart in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or until set.
  • Arrange the rhubarb strips on top of the tart. Serve the tart with some of the reserved rhubarb syrup.
  • Store in the fridge in an airtight container and consume within 2 days.

RECIPE NOTES

*vanilla soya milk and vanilla soya yoghurt: substitute with regular plain soya milk and soya yoghurt plus 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.
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3 thoughts on "Vegan Rhubarb Custard Tart"

    1. Hi Beverly,

      Yes you can use another plantbased milk such as coconut, almond or oat. And coconut yoghurt in place of the soya yoghurt.