Rhubarb season is just about here!
Rhubarb is a strange little fruit/vegetable. Fruit here in the U.S.; vegetable everywhere else. A court in New York actually determined that in 1947, if you happen to be interested in that fun fact.
Whatever you call it, rhubarb is an ingredient all its own. it kind of looks like celery, only it’s usually found in sugary dessert form.
I always associate rhubarb with my grandma, and this is her recipe. When she isn’t folding chopped rhubarb into this layered treat, she’s mixing it into her fabulous strawberry-rhubarb jam or just dipping it in sugar and munching on it like a carrot.
Whenever there’s rhubarb available around my house, this is usually where it goes–into a creamy layered torte with a thick, buttery crust and an airy meringue topping. It’s a mixture of sweet and tart, smooth and chunky, dense and light. And fruit and vegetable, apparently, depending on where you’re living. This dessert’s got it all.
You first bake the crust for a few minutes, then smooth the filling on top and stick it back in the oven, and, finally, you top the whole thing with meringue and bake it some more until it starts to turn golden and gooey.
It’s a process, but the good news is that this dish spends most of its prep time in the oven, so you’re free to move about the cabin and do anything your heart desires at that time.
If you have some rhubarb to use up during the short window it’s in season or you’re just looking for ways to eat your “vegetables”…here you go; knock yourself out! Based on my church cookbook collection circa 1960, this stuff was a pretty big deal a few decades ago, and I happen to think it’s still a yummy spring treat now!
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
- 2 cups flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 6 egg yolks (RESERVE whites for meringue)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 Tbsp. flour
- A pinch of salt
- 5 1/2 cups rhubarb
- 6 egg whites, reserved from filling
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Blend crust ingredients well and press into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven.
- For the filling, mix egg yolks with cream until well-combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift 2 1/4 cups sugar, 4 Tbsp. flour and salt together.
- Slowly add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir until just combined. Pour over baked crust and return to oven for 45-50 minutes.
- For the meringue, whip egg whites until slightly more than frothy. Slowly add 3/4 cup sugar, then mix in vanilla.
- Spread meringue over filling and bake an additional 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Total Fat: 19.1 g
Cholesterol: 128.9 mg
Sodium: 123.9 mg
Potassium: 164 mg
Total Carbs: 55.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Sugars: 39.6 g
Protein: 5.2 g