Dorset Rhubarb Meringue Pie
One of the best things about having friends who have allotments is the abundance of rhubarb at this time of year! Here is a quick, delicious recipe to create the ultimate rhubarb and meringue pie.
The pastry for this can be prepared in advance, but you should leave at least 1 hour for it to chill in the fridge.
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes + time to chill pastry
175g Plain Flour
100g Cold Butter cut into small pieces
1tbsp Icing sugar
1 Egg yolk
20cm Pyrex (or similar) flan dish
1kg fresh rhubarb cut into approximately 1” pieces
2 Heaped tbsp golden caster sugar
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 tbsp water
4 Egg whites
200g Golden caster sugar
1 tsp Cornflour
Place all ingredients for the pastry into a food processor and process until the mix starts to mix together but try not to overwork the mixture.
Tip the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and combine together with hands until smooth.
Once the pastry is nice and smooth, roll out to create a circle approximately 25cm in diameter. Don’t forget to dust the rolling pin occasionally with extra flour to prevent the pastry sticking.
Lightly grease all round the flan dish with some butter and dust with flour, this will prevent the pastry sticking during cooking.
The next step is to cover the flan dish with the pastry, one method is to roll the pastry back onto the rolling pin and then roll it back out onto the flan dish or you can lift the circle of pastry directly onto the top of the flan dish.
Gently press the pastry into the edges of the flan dish. Don’t worry if the pastry cracks a little, simple press any cracks together to seal them back up.
Trim any excess pastry so you are left with a neat finish flush with the top of the flan dish.
Prick the pastry in several places on the bottom with a fork, this stops the pastry lifting off the bottom during cooking.
Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge to rest for at least 1 hour.
Place the rhubarb, cinnamon, sugar and cloves into a large, heavy bottomed pan and add a couple of tablespoons of water, cover and gently simmer for around 5-7 minutes until the rhubarb has softened.
Strain the contents through a sieve and put the contents of the sieve to one side (you’ll need these in a second). At this point, remove the cloves as well as they will have flavoured the rhubarb.
Pre-heat oven to 180c (Fan) / Gas mark 4, once oven is at temperature, place the pastry into the oven for 10 minutes. The pastry should go a slightly golden/pink colour.
Whilst the pastry is in the oven….
Place the egg whites into a bowl and whisk until you can form soft peaks then gradually add the golden caster sugar a spoonful at a time and whisk in. Finally add in a teaspoon of cornflour and whisk until smooth and thick.
Remove the pastry from the oven and spread the rhubarb filling evenly into the pastry base using a spatula (or similar). Keep the oven on as we will need it in a moment.
With a clean spatula, evenly spread the meringue over the top of the filling making sure that there are no gaps around the side. To create the peaks on top, touch the meringue with the spatula and lift up, the more random, the more rustic !
Place the pie back into the oven at 180c (Fan) / Gas Mark 4 and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until the top of the peaks have taken on a golden colour and the meringue top is crispy and is a pink/golden colour.
Remove from oven, cover with a light cloth, allow to cool to room temperature and enjoy!
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