You already know I bake right? I’ve always loved to bake, the whole process of throwing butter, eggs, sugar and flour together, the delicious smells coming from the kitchen, the warmth of the oven,… .
But sadly my little hobby is not without danger or unfortunate side-effects. Such as cellulite or burns from forgetting to put on oven mitts.
Fortunately I found a very good ointment to deal with the burns. And the cellulite… let’s not talk about that shall we…
But let’s focus on the baking instead of my thighs.
Last weekend I made these. And they were heavenly, but unfortunately left me with too much rhubarb. Please note that I use the word ‘unfortunately’ in a very loose manner.
There is nothing unfortunate about too much rhubarb. At least that is my humble opinion. Should you ask my eldest she would tell you that she eats everything, except for Belgian Endive … and rhubarb.
We are talking about the kid who likes spicy chorizo, thinks wasabi-yoghurt-mayonnaise is THE perfect dip for her carrots, cucumber or fish hamburgers, who gobbles up beetroot like there is no tomorrow and who has a slight preference for couscous and a complete crush on saffron risotto.
She doesn’t like rhubarb. To be fair I let her taste a raw piece when we were making the muffins. And she did not like it. And then she tried the muffins and was oh so very disappointed because she had made those cakes practically all by herself so how come she did not like them?! It doesn’t makes sense! When you break the egg, pour the flour/butter/sugar/etc. and watch the Kenwood do its job you are supposed to make something nice and you are supposed to like it!
Poor, poor n°1.
It was the rhubarb that did it. The relationship went wrong at the very first tasting.
Even though I’m well acquainted with my girl’s stubbornness I decided she should give rhubarb another go before we put it in the “maybe she will grow into it one day” category of food. Perhaps she would like it better if we sweetened things up.
In other words I made a rhubarb pie. A Rhubarb Meringue Pie to be exact. I figured the sweetness of the meringue would balance the sourness of the rhubarb and by adding some pudding to the mix I hoped to create that elusive mix of flavours called “Nomnomnami” . It’s like Unami, but different.
Nothing doing. The pie was delicious, but did not turn n°1 into a rhubarb devotee.
This pie is a lot of work. Especially since I made the dough for the crust myself, if you want to use a ready-made crust be my guest. The home-crust is however compensated by the out –of-the box pudding. The good thing about this pie is that you can make crust, pudding and rhubarb filling beforehand and assemble it all when you want to serve it.
Rhubarb Meringue Pie
For the crust :
250 gr. of flour
125 cold butter
100gr of plain white sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Extra flour for rolling out the pastry
For the pudding
- 1 package of pudding powder (brand used: Imperial)
- ¾ L. of milk
- 75 gr. of plain white sugar
For the rhubarb filling
- 500 gr. of rhubarb, cleaned and chopped
- a teaspoon of unsalted butter
- a tablespoon of sugar (note: I used brown sugar to get a bit more kick in it, you are quite welcome to use plain white sugar)
For the meringue:
- 2 eggs whites
- 100 gr. of plain white sugar
For the crust
- mix the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl,
- cut the cold butter into tiny pieces and add to the other ingredients along with the egg,
- mix the flour and butter, preferably with your hands. Normally I’m all for modern technology making our lives easier, but I find that you get the best results when you go old-school on this type of dough
- when you have a nice smooth ball of dough put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes
-heat the oven to 200C° , grease a 20cm. pie tin.
-throw some flour (note: if you have children who insist on doing this make sure the understand that ‘some’ does NOT mean ‘the whole freakin’ bag’) on a kitchen table/counter, place the dough on it and roll it out until you have a slab of about 2cm. thick and wide enough to cover the baking tin
- put the dough in the backing tin and press firmly against the edges, cut of excess dough, give to your children and tell them they can roll it out and make cookies with it
- while the kids are happily engaged put baking paper on the dough and pour in baking beans or ceramic baking pearls.
- bake for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- leave to cool before you take this out of the tin (seriously, be patient, otherwise the fucker will break)
For the pudding:
- follow the instructions on the package (what!)
- You will have too much pudding, but that is ok, put half of it away in a bowl and pour the other half in tiny bowls for the kids … or yourself… because who doesn’t like pudding?
- Leave to cool
For the Rhubarb filling
- heat the butter in a bowl, add rhubarb, add sugar and leave to shimmer over a low fire until the rhubarb is tender and – well – nearly liquid. And as I write this I realize I probably should have taken a picture to show you… my bad sorry.
- put away to cool
For the Meringue:
- for a pie like this you want a nice firm meringue, here is a little trick I learned from my mom : put the sugar in a pan over low heat, put your hand ON the sugar, as soon as you feel heat take the sugar of the stove and add to the egg whites.
- beat egg whites and sugar vigorously until they are nice and firm. Hold the bowl over someone’s head to check if you have beaten them enough, if they don’t fall out… no skip that last one! Sorry that was my 12 year old self talking… Take a spoonful of the mixture out of the bowl and if it doesn’t fall of the spoon it is good.
Take pie crust, cover the bottom with pudding, cover pudding with rhubarb and cover rhubarb with meringue.
Eat! But only if you like rhubarb… if not, eat the extra pudding.
Final Note: I was NOT paid by Imperial to use their pudding powder. This is not a sponsored post.