Zebedee Helm transforms this ultimate springtime pudding

Illustration and words by Zebedee Helm

No items found.

This is the ultimate springtime pudding for when the priapic rhubarbs start protruding. I try and acquire the darkest red colored shafts, but any will do. The pairing with almond frangipane is a classic combination. Despite the fact I was brainwashed as a child to dislike small dogs, beards and marzipan flavor, I am a fan of all three. The trickiest bit here is tiling the top. You need some different lengths of rhubarb as tart dishes are normally round in shape.

No items found.
Listen on SpotifyListen on Apple MusicListen on Soundcloud
  • 155g of plain flour
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 20g polenta
  • 100g cold butter chopped in chunks
  • Tablespoon of icing sugar
  • Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 egg
  • Spoonful of ice water

The Pastry:

In a mixer whizz the dry things together then add the butter and pulse it. When it’s breadcrumb-y whizz it and add the egg and vanilla extract, it should start to form a heavy ball. If it doesn’t, add some spoonfuls of iced water until it does. Then wrap in cling film and cool it down in the fridge.  

Blind bake for about 15 minutes

  • 125g butter
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 125g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Half a teaspoon of almond extract
  • Quarter of a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Flaked almonds for sprinkling

The filling:

Melt the butter in a pan, then in a mixing bowl add it to everything else and stir until you get a nice sloppy paste. Add this to your pastry case then tile it with your chopped up chunks of rhubarb in whatever style appeals. Sprinkle the top with a bit more sugar and then add some flaked almonds. Bake in the oven at 190 degrees for about 45 minutes. Check it isn’t burning after 30. If the pastry is going too brown, then cover loosely with foil.  

Serve lukewarm with homemade custard if you’re feeling decadent, or a nice sharp crème fraiche if you’re feeling worthy.

Back to journal