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.
As I have rhubarb growing in the garden I am always on the lookout for recipes for rhubarb cakes and have tried many from English, American & Polish recipe books and magazines.
Some recipes just used 1 or 2 stalks of rhubarb – as I have lots of rhubarb – I wanted a recipe that used more.
I was talking with my old school friend who lives in Leeds and she told me her husband makes a lovely rhubarb cake with the rhubarb they have growing on their allotment.
So, I tried it out and it was indeed lovely!
- 340g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 170g butter
- 230g caster sugar
- 450g rhubarb, chopped into small cubes
- 230g stoned dates, chopped into small pieces
- 2 eggs
- 120ml milk (either whole or semi skimmed)
- Preheat the oven to GM 5 – 190°C
- Line the base of a 26cm round spring-form or loose bottomed tin with baking paper. (You can use a 23cm tin)
- Place the chopped rhubarb and dates into a bowl.
- Place the flour and baking powder into another bowl.
- Cut the butter into cubes and rub it into the flour using your fingertips until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar.
- Stir the chopped rhubarb and dates into the mixture.
- Combine the eggs and milk in a jug and beat a little.
- Stir into the cake mix until well combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.
- Bake for approximately 1 – 1 & 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean – best check on it after an hour and cover top if necessary to prevent burning.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack until the tin is cool enough to safely handle.
- Remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool completely on the wire rack
Although the cake keeps well, I think it is best eaten when fresh as then the rhubarb taste is strong and the cake delicious.
Crown china tea plates – no pattern named.
The rhubarb season is now over in my garden as it has just past July – next year I am going to try some variations on this cake eg – without the dates or with raisins etc.