Verity looks after media for a number of high-profile chefs and food writers at Quadrille Publishing including Michel Roux, Nathan Outlaw, James Martin, Skye Gyngell, AA Gill and Antonio Carluccio. Quadrille is recognised as one of the world’s leading publishers of illustrated lifestyle books and is renowned for its innovation in editorial, design, production and sales as well as its impressive international reach.
Furthermore, Verity is trained in patisserie at Westminster Kingsway College and enjoys taking inspiration from her work. Verity lives in Berkshire with her husband, the Chef David Holliday.
The hints of gingerbread in this exotic vintage cognac pair perfectly with the ginger notes in the dessert.
For the pastry:
225g plain flour
140g cold butter, cubed
20g ground almonds
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 egg yolk
For the custard:
250ml whole milk
45g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 egg yolks
50ml double cream
For the rhubarb:
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Squeeze of lemon juice
2 chunks of preserved stem ginger in syrup
You will need a rectangular tart tin about 30 x 10 cm (a round 20cm tart tin could also be used).
Preheat the over to 180C. To make the pastry put the flour, butter, almonds and sugar in a food processor and whizz until it resembles breadcrumbs. With the motor running add the egg yolk and process for a few more seconds until it comes together to form a dough. Chill for half an hour then roll the pastry out into a rectangle big enough to line your tart tray.
Lift into the tray and gently ease it into all the corners and trim the top with a sharp knife.
Line with oven-proof cling film and fill with baking beans right to the top. Blind bake for about 20-25 minutes, then remove the beans and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until the pastry is pale golden all over and cooked.
To make the custard put the milk and vanilla paste in a pan and bring up to simmering point over a low heat. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a bowl to form a smooth paste. Take the milk off the heat and slowly pour over the egg mix whisking together as you go. Return to the pan over a low heat and whisk continuously until the custard thickens. Take off the heat and whisk in the butter. Transfer to a bowl and chill until cold.
For the rhubarb, cut the rhubarb into batons the same width as your tart tin. Put into a wide saucepan with the sugar, vanilla and lemon and just enough water to cover. Place over a medium heat and bring to simmering point. Simmer for 2 minutes then immediately remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool for an hour so the rhubarb remains in tact.
This can all be done in advance and then the tart assembled prior to serving.
To assemble the tart, softly whip the double cream and mix through your custard. Spread over the base of the cooled pastry case. Place the cooled rhubarb pieces over the top and scatter with diced preserved ginger. Enjoy with a glass of Domaines Hine Bonneuil 2005.