Sunday, September 25, 2011
Rhubarb Meringue Pie
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Small quantities of rhubarb are still available at local farm stands. While I freeze small quantities in the spring, I like to use fresh rhubarb for as long as I can, and I buy it whenever it's available. Over the years, I collected a wealth of recipes that use it, and it never goes to waste in my kitchen. The Silver Fox loves rhubarb and he's especially fond of desserts that are made with it. This pie is one of his favorites. Rhubarb cream pie is a perennial favorite in many homes, but this one is taken to another level with the addition of a meringue topping. While I used fresh rhubarb, the pie can also be made with its frozen counterpart. There are, however, tricks to using frozen rhubarb in baked goods. It should be measured while its frozen, but defrosted and drained before it's used. It's also important not to compress or squeeze it as it drains. This will prevent excessive bleeding but also assure that the rhubarb retains some flavor and moisture as it bakes. I've added cornstarch to the meringue used in this recipe. It acts as a stabilizer and prevents the meringue from weeping excessively. Some feel that it is a necessary ingredient, but I really question that. I've found weeping and shrinkage is not a problem if the meringue is spread over a hot filling. I use cornstarch when I think about it, but more often than not, the meringue on my pies is made only with sugar and a bit of cream of tartar. Either way, you have a lovely pie for your family and friends. Chances are it won't last long enough for the meringue to weep. Here's the recipe.
Rhubarb Meringue Pie ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 9-inch unbaked pasrtry shell
3 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 teaspoons + 1/3 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
3 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1) To make filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place rhubarb in pastry shell. Place sugar, flour, salt, egg yolks and cream in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour over rhubarb in crust. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into custard comes out clean.
2) To make meringue: Combine 4 teaspoons sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Gradually stir in water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a small bowl. Beat until frothy. Add cornstarch mixture and beat on high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer still on high speed, beat in reserved 1/3 cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
4) To finish: Spread meringue evenly over hot filling, sealing edges to crust. Bake for 15 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. If not to be eaten soon, store pie in refrigerator. Yield: 8 servings.
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