Welcome Spring with a Rhubarb Flan and Pistachio Crumble Tart

The first things that come to mind when I think of Spring are cherry blossoms, morning dew and rhubarb. Growing up, I always looked forward to the few sunny mornings we got during Spring. Winter always seemed to linger far too long and when we had one full day of sun without rain, we rushed outside to play. I remember waiting anxiously for the trees to start to blossom and to start getting the first fruits and vegetables of the season.

Even though now I live in a warm climate where the change of seasons is very mild, I still feel the same excitement I did back then when I see new produce arrive or new flowers being planted. This week I spotted my first rhubarb and my head started spinning with all the possibilities.

There are many rhubarb desserts to come, but I really had to start with some kind of custard component. I hope you forgive me for all the eggs and milk that you will be seeing in this blog, but I am still not through with my custard craving.

So here is a tart made with vanilla bean sugar dough, poached rhubarb, vanilla bean flan and pistachio crumble. I love the tart rhubarb against the warm vanilla and the creamy interior with the crunchy topping. Let me warn you, this is best eaten slightly warm.

Have a great weekend!

Vanilla Bean Sugar Dough

250 grams butter
125 grams powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 egg
370 grams flour
2 grams baking powder
3 grams salt

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla bean together. Add the egg and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl. add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until dough comes together.

Form the dough into a disk, flatten it and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours.

Roll the dough to about 1/16″-1/8″. Cut circles larger than your tart rings and fill the rings with the dough. Place the filled tart rings in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Poached Rhubarb

200 grams water
100 grams sugar
75 grams rhubarb cut into 2 inch pieces

In a small saucepan, make a syrup with the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Turn heat down to barely simmering and gently poach the rhubarb in the syrup for about 3 to 5 minutes until the rhubarb is soft but still keeps it shape.

Remove the rhubarb from the syrup and drain. Be careful not to mush it too much.


100 grams heavy cream
50 grams whole milk
75 grams sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
3 eggs
20 grams cornstarch

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream, whole milk, half of the sugar and the vanilla bean to a boil.

In the meantime, whisk the eggs, rest of sugar and cornstarch together. Temper the hot cream into the egg mixture and whisk until combined. Strain through a fine sieve and cool over an ice bath.

Pistachio Crumble

100 grams unsalted butter
100 grams sugar
100 grams flour
125 grams pistachios, chopped
pinch of salt

Cream all ingredients together in an electric mixer. It will be crumbly. Place on a cookie sheet or in an air tight container and refrigerate over night.

Assemble the tarts

Start by blind baking the tart shells. Place a square of parchment paper on top of the dough and fill the ring with beans or pie weights. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Drain the poached rhubarb really well and fill the pre-baked tart shells with it. Fill the tart with the flan mixture and bake in a 300F oven for about 5 minutes until it is slightly set.

Place the crumble on top of the flan and finish baking at 350F for about another 10 minutes until golden.

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74 Responses to “Welcome Spring with a Rhubarb Flan and Pistachio Crumble Tart”

  1. Jen Yu says:

    Oooh! I am a nut about custards and these are so tempting. But what I really love? That little saucepan. It’s soooo small and cute. hee hee. I’ve never cooked/baked with rhubarb before – I hope to change that this season, and you will be nudging me in that direction with your great recipes! :)

  2. Jaime says:

    Lovely, lovely shot with the vanilla beans . . . Rhubarb reminds me of my childhood. It was so trustworthy and came up every year.

  3. Tartelette says:

    Oh yes! Mom has been poaching a lot of rhubarb these last few days and I love it in my morning yogurt. So healthy and perky!

  4. natalia says:

    How beautiful and good is this recipe !! Here it’s difficult to find rhubarb !

  5. I love rhubarb! A delightful and heavenly recipe! Gorgeous!

    Cheers and have a good weekend,


  6. Joyce says:

    I am so going to give this a try. I just made a rhubarb crips because I love rhubarb. I can’t wait till it starts growing out back to make rhubarb custard pie. Thanks.xoxo

  7. My mom signed me up for “nature” classes when I was five years old, and we harvested rhubarb and turned them into pies. Unfortunately, there was no sugar in those pies… it was a terrible start to a relationship, but rhubarb and I have since made up, and things are now going swimmingly. Can’t wait to make this!

  8. Irene says:

    I love rhubarb in anything, especially paired with something smooth like flan!

  9. Mobula says:

    Con la llegada de la primavera llegan todas estas maravillas, y yo sin poder disfrutar de ellas un año más… tu crees que el ruibarbo ya pochado o en conserva aguantaría bien el viaje…?? Me muero por probarlo…


  10. nadia says:

    Gorgeous! oh aran how i love this, my belly is making noises and my eyes are wide open- as lovely as ever!

  11. Happy Spring Aran…pefect welcome to a perfect season! How yum!!

  12. Botacook says:

    These tarts are absolutely superb! I love spring :)

  13. Kristin says:

    Oh this looks wonderful and well, as always, BEAUTIFUL!

    Have a smile filled weekend!

  14. VeggieGirl says:

    Such a tantalizing way to welcome spring!!

  15. I just LICKED my computer screen…..

  16. tara says:

    Gorgeous stuff for the first day of spring. My husband adores rhubarb, and I love pistachios, so this is a must try. Thank you!

  17. Dominique says:

    J’adore la rhubarbe! et c’est vrai on commence à en voir sur les marchés… j’en rajoute sur ma liste de courses pour demain matin! tes photos font vraiment envie.

  18. Jennie says:

    So NOT fair! First you tempt me with strawberries and now rhubarb! Both of these are three months away still here in Pennsylvania! I’m heartbroken….and inspired! I have four new rhubarb plants put into the garden last year and hope they’ll have a few stalks to give to making these wonderful recipes. If you have rhubarb aplenty, I’d highly recommend this risotto: http://straightfromthefarm.net/2008/12/08/rhubarb-port-risotto/

  19. I love this Aran! Looks so enticing–i love those things about Spring as well…cheers sister! And Happy Spring!

  20. alm says:

    your photography is breathtaking! makes me very hungry :)

  21. julia says:

    great shots! I’m looking forward to the rhubard season..

  22. Elizabeth says:

    Lovely picture; rhubarb is a sure
    sign of Spring. Thankyou for
    sharing your recipe.

  23. Juliana says:

    Rhubard flan…it is my first! Sound great and looks even better. Great pictures, they are very inviting.latals

  24. redmenace says:

    Lovely, as always. This sounds like an excellent flavor combo. Springtime!

  25. Que bienvenida más dulce le has dado a la Primavera!

  26. Marta says:

    I wish it was spring in Canada already as well! I keep trying to spot rhubarb in the market, as I take that as the surest sign that winter is OVER! Lovely post and must-try tart for sure… hurry up rhubarb!

  27. yay! bienvenue printemps!! hey guess what its actually SUNNY here in the arctic tundra!!!! Aran the photo with the ingredient layout (the little pot) is absolutely beautiful. very symetrical. you inspire me to stop buying white eggs :)

    happy spring!!

  28. Chef KPH says:

    Mmmmm…I’ll be making this for the weekend. Thanks for the recipie and inspiration.

  29. Jess says:

    Yum! Definitely have to try this out!

  30. noble pig says:

    It’s absolutely beautiful! Just insanely gorgeous and reminds of the plants growing in the spring!

  31. annies! says:

    I link immediately the rhubarb with Paris’ boulangerie…i love his tangyness but here in Italy it’s almost impossible to find :(

  32. veron says:

    Gorgeous! You just reminded me to get my rhubarb fix in.

  33. simplesong says:

    Yummm…rhubarb. I just love this time of year. Especially around here when you start to see bits of the cherry blossoms starting to bloom. Sigh … spring is near!

  34. cindy* says:

    i have plans for some rhubarb this weekend too. everything looks as fantastic as ever…happy spring and have a lovely weekend aran!

  35. Ash says:

    I have some rhubarb just waiting to be baked into some goodness! Thanks for the inspiration!

  36. I just saw rhubarb at the store. This looks like a great way to dive into spring.

  37. Hi – I just failed at making the chocolate and meyer lemon mousse. First, when I made pate bombe the sugar syrup hardened instantly when I added it to the egg mixture. I used a candy thermometer and temperature was as specified. What did I do wrong?
    Also, lemon mousse had a metallic taste. Not the first time this has happened either. I didnt use any reactive metal (copper, aluminum etc). Help!

  38. I could eat rhubarb until the cows come home, just love the stuff and will definitely put this recipe into rotation!
    thanks beautiful as always.

  39. Kevin says:

    Those look and sound so good!

  40. fanny says:

    Aran, I totally relate to you. the arrival of spring has gotten super excited lately.

    your tartelettes look gorgeous. and quite delicious too.

    xx fanny

  41. breadpitt says:

    nv try rhubarb b4..but the 1 u made looks great ….!;-)

  42. Amy says:

    Yay, rhubarb! I always look forward to seeing the first of rhubarb of the season, too. Those spoons in the last picture are too cute, Aran…love the polkadots and the color matches the ruby-red rhubarb juice perfectly!

  43. Yum! Rhubarb is one of the things I miss most about my garden in Canada. These look divine. I can’t wait to try them.

  44. Susan says:

    The recipe looks wonderful but I’d like to know what size tart rings and how many the recipe serves.

  45. really nice! wonderful shoots! :)

  46. You’re right–rhubarb is a wonderful way to welcome spring, and I so often overlook it. Thank you!

  47. Helene says:

    Superbe. I love your rings. I should get some.

  48. Lisa says:

    I love rhubarb but I’ve never tried it with pistachio before! Sounds delicious.

  49. Oh, these look divine! I’m so jealous, I went to our first farmer’s market of the season today, but still no rhubarb. Spring has yet to arrive in the Pacific Northwest. I’m waiting, waiting and still working with oranges and lemons.

  50. sunita says:

    I’ve used rhubarb in baking, probably just the once, many moons ago…you’re tempting me to do so again, Aran, with your delightful goodie :-)

  51. Christy says:

    I’ve never actually tasted rhubarb until last year. Yeah, insane right? Before food blogging, I didn’t even know what rhubarb was, or how tart it is. But paired with flan, there’s no better combination. I also kinda like to undercook it a little bit so the texture is still somewhat crunchy. Love this one!!

  52. ChichaJo says:

    We don’t really get rhubarb here (I have only seen it a couple of times…and all imported) so I’ll just enjoy it vicariously through your gorgeous creations! :)

  53. amberlee says:

    rhubarb and flan–two of my favorite things! as a kid I still remember the day my mother could no longer find rhubarb yogurt at the store. so sad. thanks for the great recipe and amazing pics!

  54. lynda says:

    Yummy rhubarb! I didn’t fully appreciate it until recently and I grew up with a patch of it in my back yard. I love the flan rings, too!Looks delicious!

  55. MeetaK says:

    a gorgeous recipe for rhubarb and a great way to welcome spring!

  56. Suze says:

    Two of my favourite foods…rhubarb and pistachio…what a heavenly combination!

    Many thanks for the inspiration!

  57. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for the inspiration. I baked this on Saturday and it went down very well as dessert for a Mother’s Day dinner. Popular all round!

    I was a bit confused about the amount of rhubarb you suggest in the recipe though – 75g is only about 1 stick, not nearly enough to go round. I admit I quadrupled it, and still could have done with a bit more (I think about 400 – 500grams would be right). I admit I used a large tart dish, rather than little rings (which meant I had plenty of spare dough for star shaped biscuits sandwiched with pistachio cream – also went down well with coffee on Sunday!), but even so I think more rhubarb is needed!

  58. Inés says:

    Aran eres algo más que una esteta de la rerpostería, capaz de sorprendernos siempre. Madre mía…¡que don tienes!. Lo del ruibarbo…A ver si traes unas semillitas a Zornotza cuando vengas. Mux ta ondo izan

  59. Aimée says:

    Rhubarb is poking up through the snow in my garden. A promise of spring to come!
    Lovely tarts.

  60. I would have never thought of putting rhubarb and pistachio together, and yet I love them both! I can’t wait to make this.

  61. Danielle says:

    I am in absolute awe of your creations and photography!!!! I am so inspired! Thank you!

  62. Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed very much you interview at http://www.cakespy.com/2008/11/batter-chatter-interview-with-aran-of.html
    Have a nice spring
    amama anauri

  63. Aran says:

    Ana- Zelan zauzie? Etorri da txirio?

  64. Natalie says:

    beautiful. i want a bite!
    are those little springform pans you use for the circular tart?

  65. Aran says:

    those are tart rings. About 3″ in diameter and 1″ high.

    Thank you!

  66. Anonymous says:

    may I ask where could i purchase the tart rings?? thank you!! ^^

  67. Aran says:

    Anonymous- I got the tart rings at Sur La Table but you can get it from other kitchen supply stores or pastry specialty shops.

  68. Anonymous says:

    thank you for the info!
    i’ll check into that!! =)
    love your website!!!

  69. shimelle says:

    we made this today — divine! though i think we may need to run a marathon to work it off, but oh well! :) Many thanks for the lovely recipe.

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  71. Liesel says:

    Thanks for the rhubarb recipes! Just a question about the pastry part of these. Do you cut off the extra dough before or after you bake them? Thanks!

  72. […] topped the cake with Aran’s pistachio crumble, a recipe from her blog which I’ve fallen in love with a while ago. I always make a big batch […]

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  74. Karen says:

    This recipe looks amazing and perfect for my friend just finishing her phd – her favorite ingredients are rhubarb and pistachio.
    Is there any way to make this more suitable for a group using a 9″ tart pan?

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