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Rhubarb meringue pie

By September 16, 2016 , ,

Many of you will be familiar with lemon meringue pie, it's also one of my favourite desserts to make. As it's rhubarb season, I decided to try something different. Sometimes with recipes they may or may not work, and as I'm posting this on the blog, you can guess that it did work.

The recipe will take some time and incorporates pastry making and egg work for both the meringue and custard. 

I didn't say it was going to be easy did I?

The recipe comes in 4 steps
1. Make the pastry
2. Make the rhubarb filling
3. Make the custard
4. Make the meringue topping

Pastry (for a 6" pastry tin)
110g flour
60g butter
30g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
30ml cold water (you may not need to use it all)

Rub the butter and flour together till it resembles bread crumbs 
Add the egg yolk, sugar and water and bring the mixture together till it forms a stiff dough
(this can also be made in a food processor, simply whizz the flour, sugar and butter mix till it resembles bread crumbs, then add the water and egg yolk till it comes together)
Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for an hour to rest
Once the pastry has rested then roll out to 2mm thick 
Next get your pie dish and cut out the pastry using the shape of the pie dish as a guide, ensure you have excess pastry around the edges
Then take the cut out pastry and press into the pie dish making sure there are no air bubbles, pushing the pastry into all the corners
You can trim any excess pastry from the edges of the pie dish using a knife if need be
Place the lined pie dish back in the fridge to allow the pastry to rest for about 30 mins
Pre-heat the oven to 190c (fan), 200c (normal)
taking the pastry out of the fridge, line the dish with grease proof paper and some baking beans
Bake for 10 mins and then remove the paper and the beans, bake for a further 10 mins or until it is pale and light brown coloured with a sandy texture to the touch
Allow to cool 

Rhubarb filling
4 sticks of rhubarb roughly chopped
10g caster sugar
5ml water

Heat the rhubarb, sugar and water in a pan till the rhubarb has broken down and the sugar is dissolved
Place to one side and allow to cool

Custard filling
2 egg yolks (retain the whites to make the meringue)
20g caster sugar
150ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract

Heat the cream in a pan on a medium heat for about 10 mins, make sure it doesn't boil
Turn off the heat and add the vanilla
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and mix together, slowly add the cream and whisk well

Next steps
Add the custard to the cooled pastry and place in the oven at 150c (fan), 160c (normal) and cook till the pastry has set this should take 15 - 20 mins
Remove from the oven and allow to cool
Once cool add the rhubarb filling on top

Next make the meringue - this is made using the Swiss meringue method which is whisking the egg whites in a bowl above a pan of simmering water. This way the eggs cook slightly.

2 egg whites
110g caster sugar
Pinch of salt

Bring a pan of water up to a simmer
Place the bowl with the egg whites on top, make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water

Using a hand or electric whisk start to whisk the egg whites and salt until they form a medium peak
Start to add the sugar gradually
While whisking check the temperature of the egg white mixture as you are doing so, as soon as it hits 55c, remove the bowl and continue whisking till it forms a stiff peak

Finishing the pie
Top the pie with the meringue, you can either dollop on top and smooth over or pipe it on if you like
I like to colour the meringue using a cooks blowtorch or you can cook it in the oven on (190c, fan, 200c, normal) for 5 -10 mins or until it starts to colour slightly

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