This cake was inspired by my placek(flat cake) with sour cherries and meringue.
There are three parts to this cake:
- Short pastry base – baked and cooled.
- Rhubarb filling – cooked and left to go cold.
- Meringue topping.
Three stages all take a bit of time but well worth the effort. It is delicious with a lovely balance of sweetness against the tart rhubarb.
Short pastry base
The base of is made with a smaller amount of the recipe for Ciasto kruche 1 – using raw egg yolks found in a previous post – Pastry – ciasto kruche & półkruche.
I could see out of my kitchen window that the rhubarb was beginning to grow. As I still had one batch left frozen from last summer I to decided to use that up before the new crop and in time for you to try it.
Ingredients – base
- 200g plain flour
- 100g butter – chilled
- 70g icing sugar
- 2 egg yokes
- pinch of salt
Method – base
- Add a pinch of salt to the flour.
- Use a knife to cut the chilled butter into small pieces into the flour and then use your fingers to make the mixture like breadcrumbs.
- Add the icing sugar and mix this together.
- Add the yolks and gently mix this in, then and bring it all together into a dough – try and handle the pastry as little as possible.
- Form the dough into a rough rectangle.
- Wrap the dough in greaseproof paper and chill it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to GM 6 – 200°C.
- Grease and line a 23 x 26 cm baking tin.
- Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough a little
- Press the dough into the tin – filling it up all the sides.
- Prick the surface with a fork.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes till golden.
- Leave to cool.
Ingredients – Rhubarb filling
- 400g (approx) of rhubarb
- 150g of granulated sugar (more may be needed)
- 25g of butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 2-3 tablespoons of potato or corn flour
Method – rhubarb filling
- This needs to be made ahead of time as it must be cold.
- Pre-heat the oven to GM2
- Chop the rhubarb into small pieces and place in a baking dish
- Add sugar.
- Bake in the oven for around 1 hour – till soft.
- Check for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary – but not too sweet.
- Leave to cool a little.
- I used cooked rhubarb that I had frozen from last year.
- Wizz the rhubarb up with a blender or chopper to get a purée.
- Place this in a saucepan.
- Heat slowly.
- Mix the yolks with the potato or cornflour and add this to the rhubarb and heat till it thickens.
- Add the butter and mix in.
- Leave to go cold before use.
A few thoughts on the origin & history of meringues:
- Meringue – a French word.
- Swiss village of Meiringen.
- Improved by Italian chef Gasparini.
- From Polish word – marzynka – a day dream?
- Made by the chef for the exiled king of Poland, Stanisław Leszczyński (1677 – 1766), Duke of Lorraine (1737 -1766).
- His daughter, Maria, was married to Louis XV of France and she introduced them to the court.
- In Polish – beza(sing)) bezy(pl) – link to – buzi – kiss?
- French meringue – whisk eggs till stiff – add sugar and whisk again.
- Italian meringue – uses sugar syrup.
- Swiss meringue – sugar and whites heated over a water bath.
- Addition of cornflour – strengthens the egg white.
- I used 4 egg whites & 200g icing sugar.
- Place the whites into a grease free bowl.
- Whisk till stiff.
- Add icing sugar and whisk again till stiff.
- Preheat the oven to GM 1 -140°C.
- Cover the base with the rhubarb filling and level it out.
- Cover the rhubarb with the meringue and level it out
- Put back into the oven for 45 to 60 minutes.
- Cut the cake into squares when cool to serve.
Served here on Royal Doulton – Counterpoint tea plates 1973 – 1987.