Rhubarb meringue pie recipe

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Tart rhubarb is the ideal foil for sugary meringues, and whipped cream perfectly bridges the gap between them. This recipe is a delightful amalgamation of this and another classic: lemon meringue pie. Use the pinkest rhubarb you can for a pretty pink curd.

  • Yield: 6 Servings


For the sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 7 oz (200 g) plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3½ oz (100 g) butter
  • 1 oz (25 g) icing sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
For the Rhubarb Curd
  • 1 lb 3 oz (550 g) rhubarb, cut in to 1 cm (½in) slices (weigh when sliced and trimmed)
  • 7 oz (200 g) caster or granulated sugar
  • 3 oz (75 g) butter
  • 3 eggs, whisked
For the Meringue
  • 4 egg whites (about 150–170 g/5–6 oz)
  • 4 oz (110 g) caster sugar
  • 4 oz (110 g) icing sugar
How to Make It
  1. First, make the sweet shortcrust pastry. Place the flour, salt, butter and icing sugar in a food processor and whiz briefly until the butter is in small lumps. Add half the beaten egg and continue to whiz for just another few seconds until the mixture looks as though it may come together when pressed (prolonged processing will only toughen the pastry, so don’t whiz it up until it is a ball of dough). You might need to add a little more egg, but not too much as the mixture should be just moist enough to come together.
  2. If making by hand, rub the butter into the flour, salt and icing sugar until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs then, using your hands, add just enough beaten egg to bring it together.
  3. With your hands, flatten out the ball of dough until it is about 2cm (¾in) thick, then wrap in cling film or place in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4.
  5. Remove the pastry from the fridge and place between two sheets of cling film (each bigger than your tart tin). Using a rolling pin, roll the pastry out to no thicker than 5 mm (¼in). If the tin is round, keep the pastry in a round shape and make sure it is large enough to line both the base and the sides of the tin.
  6. Remove the top layer of cling film, place your hand, palm facing up, under the cling film underneath, then flip the pastry over, cling-film side facing up, and into the tart tin. Press the pastry into the edges of the tin, with the cling film still attached to the pastry, and, using your thumb, ‘cut’ the pastry along the edge of the tin for a neat finish. Remove the cling film and, if you have time, chill the pastry in the fridge for another 30 minutes or in the freezer for 10 minutes (it can keep for weeks like this, covered, in the freezer). If the pastry has remained cold while rolling it out, there is no need to chill it again.
  7. Next, line the pastry with baking parchment, leaving plenty to come up the sides. Fill with baking beans or dried pulses (all of which can be reused again and again). Place in the oven and bake ‘blind’ for 20–25 minutes until the pastry feels dry on the base. Remove from the oven, take out the baking beans and paper and brush the base of the pastry with any leftover beaten egg, then cook in the oven for another 3 minutes. When completely blind baked, take out of the oven and set the pastry aside. Turn the oven down to 150°C (300°F), Gas mark 2.
  8. Next, make the curd. Place the rhubarb and 50g (2oz) of the sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat and cook for about 5–6 minutes, stirring every so often, until the rhubarb has softened, broken up completely and the mixture has thickened to a pulp.
  9. Pour into a sieve sitting over a bowl and push the mixture through the sieve into the bowl, making sure to scrape the underside of the sieve to get every last bit.
  10. Next, place the butter in the cleaned saucepan on a low–medium heat and allow to melt. Take off the heat just while you add in the eggs, the remaining sugar and the rhubarb purée. Put back on a low heat and stir continuously for about 6–8 minutes until thickened. Take off the heat, tip into a bowl and allow to cool.
  11. Place the egg whites for the meringue in the bowl of an electric food mixer with the whisk attachment (or use a hand-held electric beater). Whisk at full speed for a few minutes until the egg whites hold fluffy, stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted.
  12. Continue whisking and add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time, but with a few seconds between each addition. Once all the caster sugar is added in, stop the whisk. Sift in one-third of the icing sugar and fold in carefully, using a spatula, then fold in the second third, and finally the last third. The mixture should be fluffy and light.
  13. Spread the curd all over the tart base, then tip the meringue on top, making peaks with the back of a spoon. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 35–45 minutes until the meringue topping is crisp and lightly browned on the outside.
  14. Take out of the oven and allow to sit in the tin for 5 minutes before removing from the tin. I do this by sitting the tin on a small bowl and allowing the sides to fall down, then carefully sliding the shortcrust pastry crust off the base of the tin, using something flat like a palette knife. Allow to cool before cutting into slices to serve.

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