Baby boy is home! And as it turned out all my fears of having him travel alone were unfounded. He was quite happy and comfortable having travelled alone and proudly declared he would gladly travel alone again; which had us so relieved.
We also had a four day long weekend last week and of course that meant heading next door (yet again) to Bali; we wanted to take a holiday with baby boy and that’s a pretty good excuse as excuses go, not that we need an excuse to visit paradise but still. Even after all this time, I do consider Bali a paradise, yes it’s commercialised, yes it’s touristy, yes it’s crowded and five trips later I probably love it more than I did the first time I visited; exploring new places is exciting but there’s something comforting about the familiar I guess.
I don’t know what others do or want to do when in Bali but I have a water baby and the only place he wanted to be in was the pool. The only condition on which he would come out of the pool was if we agreed to take him to the beach. So that’s what we did the entire time we were there, pool-beach-pool-beach and thankfully some food in between.
Bali has some of the best food and restaurants ever! We ate at some of our old favourites and discovered a few new ones, and I’m happy to report, we had no disappointing meals so if you ever find yourself in Bali and want to know where to eat, I’ll be more than happy to help although if you’re following me on Instagram, you already know what we ate and where. As a family we’re really not the sightseeing and shopping type of travellers but we do enjoy good food and we eat…a lot! When we initially moved to this part of the world and would eat out at restaurants the waiters would literally stop us halfway through our order and say “maybe enough?” because they thought we had ordered too much food, which was quite embarrassing, of course, but what was even more embarrassing was to see their shocked expression when we would not only finish what we had ordered but also ask for dessert! We still get those looks but after all these years we just don’t get embarrassed anymore, in fact we purposely eat some more just to get a reaction. So although I might not be the best person to help you plan your Bali holiday, I can definitely steer you in the right direction as far as food is concerned.
So this luscious rhubarb tart; I had never worked with rhubarb before, eaten it yes but never used it in my kitchen, the simple reason being, it’s just not easily available here. And when I did spot some beautiful red stalks on one of my usual grocery trips, I had to have it without really knowing what I’d do with it- so typical! Because I was working with an unfamiliar ingredient, I didn’t want to experiment too much and this tart seemed to be the perfect introduction though I was a little heartbroken to see the bright red-pink rhubarb lose quite a bit of its colour after being cooked; still tasted good and after some time I thought the lighter shades of the rhubarb were quite lovely too. For the filling I decided to go with a beautiful vanilla pastry cream; I followed Anna Olsen’s recipe for the pastry cream- love her recipes! It yields about 1 ½ cups, which was just right for the 25 cm rectangle tart tin I used.
*The tart shell (base) recipe can be found here. If like me, you’ll be using a 25 cm (rectangle) tart tin, you can halve the recipe or simply make an extra one and fill it with jam or chocolate ganache, that way you can have two desserts without any extra work- always a good thing!
Vanilla Pastry Cream
- Milk- 1 cup
- Egg yolks- 3 (large)
- Sugar- 3 tbsp
- Cornflour/cornstarch- 2 tbsp
- Unsalted butter- 2 tbsp
- 1 vanilla bean, remove seeds (don’t discard the bean or the seeds, reserve both)
- Rhubarb- 200 gm
- Sugar- 2 tbsp
- Lemon juice- 3tbsp
- Water- 150 ml
- If using berries or other fresh fruit for the topping, skip this step. If using rhubarb, cut it into pieces such that fits your tart tin and is roughly the same in width. In a saucepan/frying pan add the sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean (without the seeds) and water. Heat on a med-low flame till the sugar dissolves, then add the rhubarb and simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, you can leave the rhubarb in the liquid overnight too. Once cool, remove rhubarb pieces from the liquid and put the liquid back on heat to reduce till it becomes syrupy and slightly sticky.
- Cut the butter into pieces and put it in a heatproof bowl, place a strainer over the bowl and keep aside.
- Whisk together the cornflour, egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Keep aside
- In a saucepan add milk and vanilla seeds and heat it to just below a simmer. Take it off the heat and slowly add the milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour everything back into the saucepan and put it on low heat until quite thick and glossy (about 2-3 minutes). Make sure you whisk it constantly (you can also alternate between a spatula/flat spoon to make sure it’s not sticking in the corners).
- Immediately press it through the strainer (in the bowl and strainer kept ready earlier). Mix it in with the butter and cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is directly over the surface (so no skin forms on the pastry cream).
- Cool the pastry cream to room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator.
- To assemble- make sure the tart shell is cool and the pastry cream chilled. Fill the tart base with the pastry cream, add the rhubarb pieces and brush with the syrup. Keep the tart refrigerated.
*The tart base can be made and stored for two days. Keep covered and refrigerated in an air tight container or wrapped in plastic wrap.
*The pastry cream can also be made and kept refrigerated for 2-3 days.
*While making the pastry cream, keep everything ready before you begin so you avoid scrambling for things and in turn avoid scrambling the eggs in the custard.
*You can top the tart with fresh berries or any fruit you like, I just happened to have some rhubarb, so that’s what I used.