Friday, 1 June 2012

Bake The Fabulous – Rhubarb Meringue Pie

So far I have only posted about amazing fashion & accessories. But I am also very passionate about food – especially all things sweet. So from time to time I will now post some of my favourite recipes and restaurant tips for you.

My sister shares my passion for food and she is actually really good at cooking and baking. I feel very honoured that she is contributing the first "Bake The Fabulous" post about her yummy Rhubarb Meringue Pie.


Rhubarb Meringue Pie, by Heidi

Hi everybody, I am Lissy's sister Heidi. I think I am easily as obsessed with buying cookbooks as Lissy is with fashion. I literally have a million different books at home – but never really get round trying all the recipes. I actually quite enjoy creating my own dishes or making changes to those in the books. And I just loooove baking.

Another thing I am obsessed with is quality of food. I always opt for organic or local produce. Of course this comes with a price tag (but so does great fashion!) and I think you can taste the difference. Nothing disgusts me more than cheap meat or eggs. You are what you eat and the environment and animals' lives should be treated with the respect they deserve. Well, enough already about my green heart, let's get started with this delicious pie…

I got this recipe a couple of years ago from my step-mother-in-law as I was absolutely smitten when I ate it for the first time. I made a few adjustments though (as I always do…)

What you need for 1 Rhubarb Meringue Pie


26cm pie tin or cake tin + a little butter
2 sheets of non-stick baking paper (1 extra if you are using a pie tin)


For the shortcrust pastry

4 medium sized egg yolks
250 g plain all-purpose flour  (sifted)
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g caster sugar
100g cold butter (chopped)


For the topping

600g -1kg fresh rhubarb (depending on how much fruit you want in your pie)
1 bag instant custard mix powder (it keeps the rhubarb juice inside the rhubarb!)
4 medium egg whites (5 or 6 if you choose to use less rhubarb or just looove meringue)
170g caster sugar
a pinch of salt

Time in the oven @ 170°C (Fan)
50 min to 1h
 



1. It's pastry time – start kneading...

I always start with preparing the shortcrust pastry, as it has to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
You can knead the ingredients together by hand but I think it is much faster and makes less of a mess in the kitchen if you use an electric mixer or a Kitchen Aid with dough hooks.
 Add the baking powder to the flour and stir.
Separate the eggs (be careful not to mix any egg yolk with the egg whites). Place the egg whites in the fridge until you prepare the topping.
Put the flour into a mixing bowl and make a mould into it with your hand.
Pour the sugar on top and sprinkle the cold chopped butter around it, followed by the egg yolks on top of the sugar.
Start the engine of your electric little helper!!! Take the dough out once it is a big chunky piece (it won't take long).
Form into a ball and then flatten it with your hand (this will make it easier to roll out later on).
Pop the "disc" into a freezer bag and refrigerate for 30 Minutes.

2. Between the sheets action...

Cover your pie tin with butter. I like using kitchen paper to do so as it leaves my hands clean.
Place the refrigerated, but still kneadable dough between two sheets of non-stick baking paper which you sprinkled with flour to keep it from sticking to the paper (no matter how non-stick it is, unbaked dough will stick anyway). Repeat if necessary.
Roll the pastry out until it is about 3-4mm thin. Remove the top sheet of baking paper.
Turn the pastry upside down into your tin with the help of the baking paper it is still attached to.
Press it into the tin's edges with your fingers. Remove the baking paper and remove any dough that floats over the edges of your tin – but don't throw it away. I always pop it in a freezer bag and deep freeze it as it makes great crumbles should you need some for a pie.
Put the pie tin into the fridge for at least another 20 minutes.
The good thing is – you are not pressed for time. You could make the topping hours later if you wanted to.

3. Whisk up a swirl...

Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Wash the rhubarb and peel it. My experience is: The fresher the rhubarb, the less "hairy" is peeling it and you get more out of the grammes you bought. Cut into 1 cm thick pieces and put in a bowl.
Mix together with the instant custard mix powder until all rhubarb pieces are well coated.
Pour the egg whites along with the pinch of salt into a very clean (fat free) mixing bowl and whisk on high speed with an electric mixer or Kitchen Aid. Gradually add the sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form and the texture is very sticky. I just love my Kitchend Aid for making meringue as you'd need quite some arm power until the texture is right. Like this I always have both hands free to prepare other things.
Softly fold half of the egg whites under the rhubarb-custard-mix and fill your pie tin with it.
Place the rest of the egg whites on top of it with the help of a spatula.
Now it's time for some heat: Put your pie in the oven for 50 minutes to 1h (more meringue means more baking time): Your taste buds will start tingling once the sweet, yet juicy flavours fill up the air….
Let the pie cool in the tin – if you are patient enough not to tuck in straight away.

And now: ENJOY!

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