Rhubarb Tart with Shortbread Crust Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 40 min. Bake: 15 min. + chilling
Make good use of all of that rhubarb from your garden or favorite farmers market. Creamy, sweet, tart, buttery—this rhubarb tart has it all!

Updated: Nov. 15, 2023

Like all our prettiest tart recipes, this rhubarb tart is a stunner. That’s mostly thanks to the natural color of rhubarb, which, when cooked with sugar, turns a beautiful pink hue.

The rhubarb also adds some tartness to the sweet curd filling, which floats beautifully atop a pecan shortbread crust. Tart recipes don’t get much better.

What is shortbread crust?

A shortbread crust is like a shortbread cookie but used as a base for pies and tarts. Also known as a sablé Breton, a shortbread crust is buttery, slightly sweet and a little savory. It’s also more solid than a flaky pie crust. It’s a great crust for tarts made with curds, cheesecake fillings or fruit jams.

The shortbread crust for this rhubarb tart also has pecans, almost like pecan sandies. Blind bake it before adding the curd, bake it some more, and then refrigerate before serving.

Directions

Step 1: Make a rhubarb sauce

Rhubarb Sauce and Wooden Spatula in a Small Pan on a Piece of ClothTMB Studio

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan, bring the rhubarb, sugar and water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Cook and stir the mixture until it’s thickened and the rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat, and let the mixture cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor, and process until smooth. Set the rhubarb sauce aside.

Step 2: Make the shortbread crust

flour, pecans, butter, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processorTMB Studio

For the crust, place the flour, pecans, butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor. Cover and process until mixture is crumbly but sticks together in your palm. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake the crust for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. (Do not turn the oven off.)

Step 3: Make the curd

Mixing egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest with rhubarb mixture in a small panTMB Studio

Meanwhile, in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, zest and rhubarb mixture until blended. Add the butter cubes, and cook until it’s melted, whisking constantly. If using food coloring, add it now. (Rhubarb still has a nice pink color without it.) Pour the curd into the crust.

Step 4: Bake the tart

Rhubarb Tart With Shortbread Crust on a Wire Oven RackTMB Studio

Bake the tart at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes longer or until the center is almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate for at least one hour. If desired, dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Rhubarb Tart With Shortbread Crust in a White Plate on Greenish Blue BackgroundTMB Studio

How Do You Store Rhubarb Tart?

Store this rhubarb tart, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Rhubarb Tart Tips

Rhubarb Tart With Shortbread Crust in a White Plate on Greenish Blue BackgroundTMB Studio

Can you use premade pie dough for a rhubarb tart?

Like most pies and tarts, you can use a premade pie dough instead of the crust called for. If you do, you’ll need to blind bake it first. Press the refrigerated dough firmly into the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Poke dough all over with a fork, and fill with parchment and pie weights. Bake at 350° until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. You can also make pie crust from scratch following the same directions for filling and baking the tart.

Can you make this rhubarb tart ahead of time?

You can make this rhubarb tart in its entirety ahead of time, or make the crust and rhubarb sauce separately. When you’re ready to finish the tart, make the curd, fill the crust and bake according to directions.

How do you serve rhubarb tart?

To serve this rhubarb tart, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and top with pretty rhubarb ribbons. To make the ribbons, use a vegetable peeler to peel the stalks lengthwise, and arrange the curls decoratively on top of the tart. You can also garnish with candied edible flowers like pansies. The tart doesn’t need whipped cream, but no one would fault a dollop on the side just in case.

Rhubarb Tart with Shortbread Crust

Prep Time 40 min
Cook Time 15 min
Yield 12 servings.

Ingredients

  • 3-3/4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb (about 1-1/4 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • CRUST:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • CURD:
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 4 drops red food coloring, optional
  • Additional confectioners' sugar

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring rhubarb, sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir until thickened and rhubarb is tender. Cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor; cover and process until mixture is smooth; set aside.
  2. For crust, place the flour, pecans, butter, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor; cover and process until crumbly. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. tart pan with removable bottom. Bake crust at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, zest and rhubarb mixture until blended. Add butter; cook until butter is melted, whisking constantly. Stir in food coloring if desired; pour into prepared crust.
  4. Bake at 350° 12-15 minutes longer or until center is almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 277 calories, 18g fat (9g saturated fat), 125mg cholesterol, 154mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

Here's a perfect ending to a grilled summer meal! Between the creamy texture, the pretty color and the buttery crust, this recipe is simply delightful. —Emily Seefeldt, Red Wing, Minnesota