This recipe comes from JR Ryall who is the Pastry chef at Ballymaloe House. Ballymaloe House is a well-known and loved estate in County Cork. It’s the home of the Allens, Ireland’s premiere cooking family. Like Hunter’s Hotel and the Glenlo Abbey, Ballymaloe is part of Ireland’s Blue Book, my favourite collection of boutique accommodation. 

Rhubarb is in season just now and I’m forever looking for new things to do with it. I had never heard of cream pastry and so I will be making it this weekend. The measurements in this recipe make 36 tartlets. If you don’t have rhubarb, sharp apples slices or gooseberries.

Please note the pastry needs to be put together the night before so you need to keep that in mind when planning these. 


  • about 750 g of fresh local red rhubarb
  • 110 g (4oz) cold salted Irish butter

  • 110 g (4oz) plain flour

  • 150 ml (5floz) cold cream

  • caster sugar for each tartlet (so 1 teaspoon per tartlet)



  • Preheat oven to 190C. 
  • Sieve the flour into the bowl of an electric food mixer. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and rub into the flour using the paddle attachment until the mixture forms a coarse texture. DO NOT over mix, if you do the mixture will form a shortbread-like ball! Pour the cold cream into the coarse mixture and mix on low speed until a smooth pastry forms. Wrap the pastry in parchment paper and chill overnight.
  • Always roll cream pastry straight from the fridge. If the pastry comes to room temperature it will be too soft to handle!
  • Using plenty of flour, roll the cold pastry to a thickness of 3mm. Cut the pastry with a 7.5cm round cutter and use the disks of pastry to line a standard flat-based bun tray.
  • Carefully slice the rhubarb into little coin-like pieces about 3mm thick and arrange in pretty patterns on each disk of pastry. Place a rounded teaspoon of caster sugar on top of the rhubarb in each tartlet. Bake the tartlets for approx. 20 minutes or until the sugar begins to caramelise and the pastry is a golden colour. Remove the tartlets from the bun tray while still hot – use a palette knife for this – and place on parchment paper which has been sprinkled with caster sugar.
  • These tartlets are best served warm with whipped cream.

Garden Rhubarb Tartlets -

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