Rhubarb & Meringue Delight
This cake plays on both childhood memories as well as a newer one. I distinctly remember an aunt of mine making something similar, with a buttery bottom layer, followed by soft apples and a nice meringue top. I think I only had this a couple of times though, so it was never a very memorable dessert.
Three years ago while on a city break in Berlin, we were staying right above this restaurant that served modern traditional dishes. It was a very laid back place with really simple and good food. They didn’t have a lot of stuff on the menu and the dessert was displayed at the counter, with only two choices which changed from day to day and it was always some type of home-baked looking tray of sweet cake, nothing too fancy but definitely mouth watering.
One evening I spotted that one of the trays was carrying something that looked like rhubarb jam spread between a thick biscuity layer and a golden meringue wavy one. I asked for a slice and took a seat while they cut it up for me. As soon as I tasted it, I fell in love with it, the buttery and crumbly biscuit, the sweet and sour rhubarb and the creamy meringue. Upon returning home, I wanted to recreate it, but it didn’t turn out as good. So I’ve been trying out different recipes over time, constantly adapting quantities and ingredients and finally, I baked one that was really really good.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe. If you like rhubarb as much as I do and you’re a meringue lover, then you should really make this. It tastes nice after it has completely cooled to room temperature, but an overnight chill in the fridge is what makes it really great.
Rhubarb & Meringue Squares
For the crust:
225g/1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
500g/2 cups all-purpose flour
60g/40 Tblsp coconut sugar or any other sugar you like
60g/1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 180C/350F and butter a 20x30cm/9x13in. oven proof dish. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until you get a crumbly mixture. Fit mixture in the dish and pat with your hands to distribute evenly. Bake for 10 minutes.
For the Rhubarb filling:
1kg/6 cups Rhubarb, chopped
6 free-range egg yolks
200g/1 cup coconut sugar or any other sugar you like
100g/7 Tblsp all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
250ml/1 cup full fat heavy cream
In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients. Once everything is well combined, pour onto the baked crust layer. Bake in the oven for around 40-45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
For the Meringue topping:
6 free-range egg whites
150g/3/4 cup coconut sugar or any other sugar you like
A pinch of salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of your stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with the aid of a hand-held mixer set on medium speed, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and whip until the meringue holds very stiff peaks and becomes shiny. Beat in the salt and the vanilla extract. With the aid of a spatula, spread the meringue on top and feel free to shape it as you like, I use the back of a spoon. Put in the oven for about 10 minutes, until meringue becomes slightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Cut into squares and serve.