Strawberry & Rhubarb Meringue Tart

Hi friends! How are you doing this week? I hope the answer is a positive one, and if not, I hope this recipe will cheer you up some. I had planned to send this gussied up Strawberry & Rhubarb Meringue Tart out into the world at the weekend, but I never quite got there – I guess that’s lockdown life! This beauty of a tart has been languishing away on the blog for the better part of eight years – and if you’d seen the old photos you’d understand why. I’m glad I finally have the time to give it a facelift, because it’s truly a showstopper of a tart: buttery base, jammy rhubarb filling, and pillow-y meringue topping. Aka: the perfect Spring dessert!

When I first made this, it was as an apology dessert of sorts for missing Father’s Day. I was selfishly out gallivanting with my then-Boyfriend, missed the whole day, and had to make a full-brown three course meal to apologise. This time around, I made it as a birthday cake for my Dad. It will now forever be inextricably linked with my dad, and I’m really okay with that.

how is this different from before?

Thankfully, my baking skillset has grown considerably since I first shared this tart, and I’ve updated the recipe for the better.

• the old base was much more of a cakey affair, and it didn’t provide enough contrast to the jammy filling. I’ve switched this out in favour of my pâté sucrée recipe. Pâté sucrée is a lusciously short and buttery base, and it provides a nice bite against the filling and the topping.

• the filling is more or less the same, with the addition of freshly squeezed orange juice. The really great thing about the filling is that it’s all cooked together in one pot – so simple!

• previously, the meringue topping was French, but I’ve switched it for Italian. Italian meringue is a much more stable option, and it holds its structure a lot better.

how to make Strawberry & rhubarb meringue tart

All the information you could possibly need and step-by-step photos below!

the base

This bake starts with a par-baked tart shell. I didn’t take photos of the par-baking process this time ’round, but I know you know how to do it. If you need help: I recently shared a very in depth step-by-step photo guide about blind-baking, and we’re basically following that exact same procedure. The only difference this time is that we’re just par-baking our shell, so we need to pull it out of the oven slightly earlier. Alternatively, you can make your life easier by using a store-bought tart shell. I promise not to tell anyone.

Once you have your tart shell par-baked and cooled, we’re ready to start on the filling.

the filling

Our filling mise en place: rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, flour, orange zest + juice, and a little bit of ground ginger. Don’t worry, you can’t really taste the ginger- it’s just there to add depth.

Oh! And get the oven pre-heating to 180C.

Throw everything into a pot, pop it over a medium-low heat, and leave it to simmer until the fruits break down and softens. My mixture required a frequent stir to keep it from sticking to the bottom, but that’s probably down to our terrible non-stick pot.

When the fruit has cooked down, remove it from the heat. Pour it into the cooled tart shell, and bake the whole thing in the preheated oven for about 25/30-minutes, or until the fruit looks jammy and set, and the pastry is deeply golden.

We’re nearly done! We need to leave the tart to cool, but it won’t take long.

the meringue

Now, the Italian meringue. Our mise en place is three ingredients long: sugar, water, and egg whites.

Pop your egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk the egg whites ever so lightly – until just beginning to foam – and then turn it off.

In a pot, add the sugar to the water, and bring it to a boil. When it reaches 118C on a cooking thermometer, pull it off the heat. If you don’t have a thermometer: when you start to notice the bubbles on top of the syrup are disappearing, that’s about the right time to stop.

Turn the whisk back on low speed, and slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites. When all the syrup is in there, turn the speed up and beat until the meringue is super glossy and forms stiff peaks. Meringue = finito!

From here, you have two options. Option one: pile the meringue onto the tart and use the back of a spoon to create luscious swoops. Option two: transfer the meringue to a piping bag and cover the top of the tart with dots/squiggles. Who wants to guess which option I picked?

I fitted my piping bag with a star nozzle and made a high tower of little star blobs, which I must confess was oddly therapeutic.

Finally, the pièce de résistance: a little blowtorch action. The meringue is already cooked and safe to eat, so this step is optional. I just love a good excuse to use my blowtorch.

And there we have it: Strawberry & Rhubarb Meringue Tart! What better way to embrace Spring?

Happy baking! xo

Strawberry & Rhubarb Meringue Tart

A buttery pate sucree pastry base, filled with a strawberry rhubarb mixture that becomes jammy in the oven, all topped with a torched Italian meringue. The perfect Spring dessert!
P R E P40 mins
C O O K1 hr 10 mins
T O T A L3 hrs 10 mins
Yield: 9 -inch tart
Author: Vicki @ Passionate Baker

INGREDIENTS

for the pate sucree/pastry

  • 112.5 g salted butter, soft
  • 50 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 lemon , zested
  • 30 g egg yolks
  • 175 g plain flour

for the filling

  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 35 g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • zest of one orange
  • juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 200 g strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 200 g rhubarb, chopped into small chunks

for the meringue

  • 90 g egg whites
  • 180 g caster sugar
  • 40 mls water

DIRECTIONS

for the pate sucree/pastry

  • In a bowl with an electric whisk – or a stand mixer – cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest until fluffy, about 1-2-minutes.
  • Add the egg yolks into the batter and beat to combine fully. Add the flour & beat until a dough forms. Use your hands to form it into a disc shape, squeezing any loose crumbs together, and wrap it tightly in a layer of cling film. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 20-minutes.
  • Lightly grease a 9-inch tart tin with butter and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Once chilled, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, to about 4mm thick, turning the pastry often. Line your prepared tin with the pastry, trimming off any excess, and pop in the freezer for 15-minutes or until very cold.
  • Cover the frozen pastry with a layer of baking parchment, fill with baking beans/rice/etc, and blind bake in the preheated oven for 15/20-minutes, or until you see the edges of the tart shell go lightly golden in colour. Remove the parchment paper + baking beans and return the tart shell to the oven for a further 5-minutes, or until the base of the tart is starting to colour. Leave to cool completely.

for the filling

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Add all of the ingredients to a large saucepan set over a medium heat and stir to combine. Simmer the mixture, stirring frequently, and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit softens down, about 7-minutes.
  • Pour into the par-baked shell and bake in the preheated oven for 30-minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the dough is deeply golden. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

for the meringue

  • Place the egg whites in the base of your stand-mixer with the whisk attachment. Do not whip, but have ready.
  • In a medium pot, combine the sugar and water, stirring gently with a wooden spoon until evenly mixed. Place over a medium heat, continue to stir gently, and monitor the temperature of the mix with a kitchen thermometer.
  • When the sugar mixture reaches 110°C, turn the stand-mixer to a low-med speed & begin whipping the egg whites. When the sugar reaches 118-119°C, remove from the heat.
  • Ensuring the egg white mixture is frothy & slightly voluminous, slowly begin to pour the hot sugar mixture down the side of the bowl and into the egg whites, all while the mixture is going at medium speed.
  • Turn the mixer to med-high speed & whisk together until the mixture is cool, stiff & very shiny – about 7-minutes. It is finished when you remove the whisk & a stiff peak forms.

to assemble

  • Dollop the meringue on top of the tart and spread it around with an offset spatula or spoon.
  • Using a kitchen blowtorch, lightly brown the meringue until scorched all over. Enjoy in large slices!

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Please leave a comment & a rating below, or tag me on Instagram @imvcki. Thank you so much for supporting Passionate Baker!

*POST UPDATED APRIL 2021



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