Recipe: Bozena’s Vegan Rhubarb and Custard Tart


Bozena’s Rhubarb and Custard Tart

What better to mark the start of rhubarb season than this delicious vegan dessert?

Words by Liz Skone James

Enjoy a taste of early summer with this delicious dessert recipe from the owners of Veg Box, Marylebone’s hottest new all-day eatery

Plant-based food for the soul is on the menu at The Veg Box Cafe, Marylebone’s newest foodie hangout. The gorgeous dog-friendly space opened earlier this year on Marylebone Road, serving breakfast, brunch, all-day bites, takeaway lunch options and hot drinks. It’s a second outpost for owners Ruslan and Bozena, who already run a thriving café in Canterbury. Emulating their winning formula there, the focus here is on using the very best fresh ingredients from local Kent farms, and everything on the menu is entirely natural and free from synthetic additives. While most dishes are vegan, there are a few vegetarian options on the menu, including dairy milk for coffees, and cheese and organic butter for jacket potatoes. The offering changes depending on what is available seasonally, so what might we expect in April? “It’s the start of rhubarb season,” Bozena tells us, “so something like this delicious dessert might be making its way onto the menu. There are three parts to making this delicious vegan tart: the shortbread crust, the creamy custard filling, and the baked rhubarb topping.” Here’s how to make it.

Bozena’s vegan rhubarb and custard tart recipe


150g vegan butter | 150g caster sugar | 300g all-purpose flour, sifted | 3 tbsp ice cold water | Pinch of salt

 1 tsp of vanilla extract or 1/2 stick of vanilla beans | 2 tbsp caster sugar | 400 ml coconut cream | 2 tbsp gluten free flour | 1/2 tsp agar agar

400g rhubarb | 6 tbsp caster or brown sugar | 1 tbsp gluten free flour or corn starch


1. Preheat the oven and grease a 23 cm tart tin with some cooking oil. Line the base with parchment paper.

To make the dough:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, iced water and a pinch of salt. Add the softened vegan butter to the bowl. Mix with a hand mixer until crumbly and soft.

Although crumbly, when squeezed in your hands, the dough should hold its shape. Form it into a ball and place it on a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on the paper to prevent sticking, then refrigerate the dough for half an hour.

Using another piece of parchment paper, roll the dough to about 1 cm thickness. Press the dough evenly into the base and sides of the tart tin. Use a fork to prick several holes into the base. Bake the crust for 20 minutes at 175°C, then allow it to cool (do not remove the tart from the tin). Keep the oven on for the rhubarb.

To make the rhubarb topping:
1. Wash the rhubarb stalks and cut them into 3 cm pieces. Spread them evenly on a tray with shallow sides, lined with baking parchment. Mix 6 tbsp of caster sugar and 1 tbsp gluten free flour or corn starch and brush onto the rhubarb. Roast at 210°C for 8-10 minutes or until tender but not soft. Drain the excess liquid (reserving the syrup for serving) and allow the rhubarb to cool completely.

To make the custard:
1. Combine all custard ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk well. Over a medium heat, vigorously whisk the mixture for 8-10 minutes until it thickens. Allow it to cool completely.
2. Whisk the custard again and pour it into the cooled tart crust. Arrange the roasted rhubarb on top of the tart. Place the tart in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours or until set.
3. Serve the tart with some of the reserved rhubarb syrup.