Rhubarb meringue pie or German rhubarb tart, this is the best rhubarb meringue pie ever!!!
Spring is finally here and that makes me so happy. Finally being able to spend more time outside the house, to take longer walks in the fields and woods around our village, to plant new flowers and herbs in the garden and in pots all around the house, this fresh green color everywhere, I think it’s obvious that spring is my favorite season. 🙂
RHUBARB MERINGUE PIE RECIPE
And these are not the only things that make me happy every spring.
There is no other seasonal vegetable (yes, rhubarb is a vegetable) that gets so much attention from me in such a short period of time than the rhubarb.
I’ve known it all my life, maybe I haven’t eaten it so intensively as a child, but I’ve always known and loved it. My grandmother, who raised me, was not a keen baker, she never baked much, but her mother – my grand-grandmother did, and I remember her rhubarb meringue cake very vividly.
It was always made on a tray, so enough for a lot of people and it was a very soft, tender, sweet cake. The rhubarb was placed on the batter, but it would sink inside it, reducing the sweetness of the cake a little bit.
The rhubarb cake was then topped with a very soft and again very sweet meringue, that would form some kind of pearls or tears after coming out of the oven, making the cake almost wet and very sticky.
I was not a big cake or sweets eater as a child, but I loved that cake.
RHUBARB TART WITH MERINGUE
I haven’t eaten that cake in almost 30 years now, I think, but I will never forget it (come to it, I should look for a recipe, see if I can find that taste again). But what I eat a lot of now is this rhubarb meringue pie.
As much as I liked my grand-grandmother’s rhubarb meringue cake, I think this rhubarb meringue tart or pie to be like a hundred times better. And that is not an overstatement!
I genuinely believe there is no better rhubarb pie or cake out there. Just try it and you will see that I am right! There is such a perfect balance of taste and texture in it that makes this cake just unbelievable.
A crumbly and not very sweet pastry covered with a tart yet sweet and creamy rhubarb filling and topped with sweet meringue, soft on the inside and crunchy on top. I am telling you, you will love every bite of it.
I discovered the recipe for this rhubarb merigue tart more than six years ago and I keep making it ever since, at least 1-2 times every season. And maybe a couple of times more through the year using frozen rhubarb.
Please give this pie a try, I promise you, you will not be disappointed. Another bonus: it is sooo easy to make!
HOW TO MAKE RHUBARB MERINGUE PIE
- You will start with the rhubarb, as the rhubarb will need some time to release its juices when mixed with the sugar.
- You can use either fresh or frozen rhubarb.
- Clean and peel the rhubarb stalks. Cut them into slices, about 1 cm/ 0.4 inch thick. Place the rhubarb in a bowl, add 130 g/ 2/3 cups sugar, mix well and leave to stand until it releases plenty of juice, about 2 hours.
- While the rhubarb steeps, make the crust for the rhubarb meringue tart.
- Once the rhubarb has released enough juice, strain it and reserve the juice as you will need it for the filling.
- You should have 500 ml/ 2 cups rhubarb juice. If you don’t have enough, fill the rest with water or some apple juice. Mix the vanilla pudding powder with the 5 tablespoons granulated sugar and enough of the rhubarb juice to form a paste.
- Place the rest of the juice into a small pan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the pudding powder-sugar mixture while whisking all the time, place back on the heat source and allow to bubble for a few seconds until the mixture thickens. Keep stirring all the time. Mix the pudding and the rhubarb pieces together and spread this mixture over the pastry in the spring form.
Vanilla pudding powder
- I am using Dr Oetker vanilla pudding powder. It is a common thing in Germany, but as I am not sure how things are in the US, I think I should mention that this is the kind of powder that has to be cooked with milk to form the pudding.
- One packet contains 37 g/ 1.3 oz vanilla pudding powder, which is basically starch mixed with vanilla aroma and a little bit of salt. Normally it is mixed with 40 g/ 1.4 oz sugar and a few tablespoons milk out of 500 ml/ 2 cups. It is then stirred into the boiling milk and cooked for 1 minute while stirring continuously.
- However for this rhubarb meringue tart, we use rhubarb juice instead of milk and only half of the otherwise necessary liquid quantity.
- If you cannot find the right type of vanilla pudding powder, you can replace it with 40 g/ 1.4 oz cornstach and a small pinch of salt. Add 1-2 teaspoons (to taste) pure vanilla extract once the pudding is cooked.
- The crust is very easy to make and it doesn’t need time to rest in the fridge. You can definitely make a little time in advance and keep it in the fridge, but if not, no worries there, it will still work perfectly.
- And what I especially like about this crust for the rhubarb meringue pie is that you don’t have to roll it, it will suffice to press it into the prepared baking tin with your fingers. It cannot get any easier when it comes to pie crusts.
- To make the crust, place the flour, 50 g/ ¼ cups/ 1.7 oz sugar, cold butter, eggs, baking powder and vanilla sugar in the food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Turn it onto the working surface and knead very briefly to form a ball.
- Press the ball into a large circle, place this into the spring form (26 cm/ about 10 inch diameter) and press it with your fingers to cover the bottom of the pan. Press some more to form a rim about 4 cm/ 1.5 inch high.
- Give the filling over the crust and bake the rhubarb pie for 35 minutes before topping it with the meringue.
- Place the egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until quite stiff. Add the last 130 g/ 2/3 cups granulated sugar gradually and continue whisking until the mixture becomes stiff and glossy.
- Spread the meringue on top of the pie using a spoon and continue baking for another 10 minutes. Leave to cool in the spring form for at least half an hour, then you can transfer the pie to a cake plate.
The Best Rhubarb Meringue Pie or Rhubarb Tart
- 750 g rhubarb 27 oz
- 130 g granulated sugar 2/3 cups/ 4.6 oz
- 200 g all-purpose flour 1 2/3 cups/ 7 oz
- 50 g granulated sugar ¼ cups/ 1.7 oz
- 65 g unsalted butter ¼ cups + 1 teaspoon/ 2.3 oz, very cold
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon Dr. Oetker baking powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
- 2 packets vanilla pudding powder 37 g/ 1.3 oz each (Dr. Oetker or another similar brand) (See note)
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 500 ml juice from the rhubarb-sugar mixture + some water or apple juice if necessary 2 cups
- 3 egg whites large
- 130 g granulated sugar 2/3 cups/ 4.6 oz
- Clean the rhubarb stalks. Cut them into slices, about 1 cm/ 0.4 inch thick. Place the rhubarb in a bowl, add 130 g/ 2/3 cups sugar, mix well and leave to stand until it releases plenty of juice. I leave it for about 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dough: Place the flour, 50 g/ ¼ cups sugar, the cubed, cold butter, egg, baking powder, and vanilla sugar in the food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Line springform: Turn it onto the working surface and knead very briefly to form a ball. Press the ball into a large circle, place this into the springform (26 cm/ about 10-inch diameter) and press it with your fingers to cover the bottom of the pan. Press some more to form a rim about 4 cm/ 1.5 inch high.
- Strain and reserve the juice that the rhubarb released. You should have 500 ml/ 2 cups of rhubarb juice. If you don't have enough, fill the rest with water or some apple juice.
- Mix the vanilla pudding powder with 5 tablespoons of granulated sugar and enough rhubarb juice to form a paste.
- Cook pudding: Place the rest of the juice into a small pan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the pudding powder-sugar mixture while whisking all the time, place back on the heat source and allow to bubble for a few seconds until the mixture thickens. Keep stirring all the time.
- Combine: Mix the pudding and the rhubarb pieces together and spread this mixture over the pastry in the springform.
- If using cornstarch instead of vanilla pudding powder, cook the same as instructed above, and remember to add 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (to taste) once the pudding is cooked.
- Bake the pie for 35 minutes before topping it with the meringue.
- Whisk the egg whites: Place into a clean bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until quite stiff. Add the last 130 g/ 2/3 cups granulated sugar gradually and continue whisking until the mixture becomes stiff and glossy.
- Spread the meringue on top of the pie using a spoon and continue baking for another 10 minutes.
- Leave to cool in the springform for at least half an hour; then, you can transfer the pie to a cake plate.