Food & Wine

Rhubarb Cake with Vanilla Cream and Meringue

The Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section April 29 will feature the opening dates for the farmers markets in the Mid-Columbia. Inside you'll find more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects. For

Rhubarb Cake with Vanilla Cream and Meringue

Rhubarb is the first fruit of the season and many an over-enthusiastic gardener may wonder what to do with so much of it. Rhubarb, peeled and chopped into 2 inch long pieces can easily be frozen for use later in the year, making this recipe a year-round pleasure. This recipe also works well with gooseberries, as they too have the tangy taste that goes so well with the sweetness of the meringue. Even the very young can help rolling out pastry, and if there is any pastry left over, they could make a separate little tart.

Ingredients

12 ounces sweetened pastry dough

1 1/2 pounds Rhubarb

1 cup light cream

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 vanilla bean

2 egg whites

3/4-1 cup confectioner's sugar

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out the pastry to 1Zˇ4 inch thickness. Line a buttered round baking tin, 9 inch in diameter, with the pastry. Blind bake the pastry for 20 minutes in the middle rack of your oven until golden brown.

While the pre-baked pastry is cooling, prepare the rhubarb. If necessary, peel it and cut into 2 inch long pieces. Then in a pot, with a little water‹just enough to cover the base‹cook down the rhubarb to a compote consistency.

In a pan add the cream, egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, and the scraped out seeds of the vanilla pod. Over a low heat whisk the ingredients together until they are thick and creamy. Remove from the heat, and add the cooked rhubarb.

Using a clean dry bowl and hand mixer, whisk the egg whites and confectioner's sugar until you get stiff white peeks.

Fill the pastry form with the fruit and vanilla mixture. Then top up with spoonfuls of the meringue and return to the preheated oven at 350° for a few minutes, until meringue peaks turn a light caramel color. Remove from the oven and let it cool before serving.

Serves 4

From: The Family Kitchen Garden: How to Plant, Grow, and Cook Together by Karen Liebreich, Jutta Wagner, and Annette Wendland (Timber Press, May 2009).

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