Serves 6-8

Rhubarb isn't one of those tastes that kids get really excited about, is it? It's not like biting into a juicy strawberry or sucking round a mango stone, but treated with respect and turned into a pie or cobbler or crumble and served with thick Jersey cream or custard it's one of the delights of British cooking. Of course it isn't really a fruit, but it's coming into season now and its pretty pink colour alone qualifies it as a classic dessert.

Rhubarb isn't one of those tastes that kids get really excited about, is it? It's not like biting into a juicy strawberry or sucking round a mango stone, but treated with respect and turned into a pie or cobbler or crumble and served with thick Jersey cream or custard it's one of the delights of British cooking. Of course it isn't really a fruit, but it's coming into season now and its pretty pink colour alone qualifies it as a classic dessert.

1kg rhubarb, trimmed and chopped into rough 2cm pieces
1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
300g granulated sugar, plus a little extra for the top

for the pastry

200g plain flour
50g butter, cut into small pieces
50g lard, cut into small pieces
30g caster sugar
1 egg, separated (reserve the white)
1-2tbsp milk
A little extra butter for greasing

Put the rhubarb and apple in a thick-bottomed pan with the sugar and cook on a medium heat with a lid on for 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often. Remove the lid and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes on a fairly high heat, until the rhubarb is soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, and the mixture has a jammy consistency. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. To make the pastry, rub the butter and lard into the flour with your fingers until you get a breadcrumb-like consistency. Add the sugar, egg yolk and enough milk to form a smooth rollable dough. Grease a 17-18cm x 2-3cm flan ring with a little butter and roll two-thirds of the pastry to about 2-3mm on a lightly floured table. Line the flan ring with the pastry and trim the edges.

Then line the flan ring with a circle of greaseproof paper or foil and fill with baking beans. Bake the tart for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is lightly coloured.

Meanwhile, roll the rest of the pastry out just a little larger than the tart. You can make a straightforward full pie top. Or cut the pastry into strips about 1cm wide to lay on top in a lattice pattern. If you have a fancy lattice cutter use this. It rolls over the pastry, making slits in it, which can be stretched to form a lattice effect.

Remove the baking beans and paper from the tart and spoon the rhubarb mixture in. Lay the rest of the pastry over the top, trim the edges and press them on to the edges of the pastry base with your thumb and forefinger. Brush the top with egg white and scatter some granulated sugar on top. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the top is a golden crisp. Leave to cool to room temperature and serve with thick custard, or clotted or thick Jersey cream.

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