To be honest, the reason that I had Dean build a raised bed to grow rhubarb is for this one special recipe. Imagine a buttery shortbread crust with chopped pecans, tart rhubarb filling, all topped with a pillow of toasted meringue - my mom made this recipe every summer. I recently came across her recipe card for this dessert and in the corner she had written - Karen's favorite!
Neither healthy nor easy...but delicious!
Last summer I experimented with rhubarb recipes to dial in my favorites. Of course Rhubarb Sauce is a classic, but what I really wanted was a healthier (and easier) way to make my mom's recipe. Finally, I gave up and updated the family favorite. If you have a rhubarb plant, at least once every summer you've got to make these Rhubarb Meringue Squares!
This dessert is a bit more effort, but so delicious. It's well worth the extra work at least once during the summer.
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter softened
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chopped rhubarb
- 3 egg whites
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon corn starch
Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.
Add butter to the flour mixture, blending it until the mixture becomes crumbly. I find that massaging it with my hands is the best way to work the butter into the flour. The mixture will feel dry.
Stir in the pecans, then dump the crust mixture into a 9 x 9-inch baking pan. Press the dough evenly in the bottom of the baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust turns golden. Allow the crust to cook while you prepare the filling.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and milk. In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar and flour. Over medium heat, stir the egg mixture into the sugar and flour. Add rhubarb and cook over medium-low heat for 12-15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Cool.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Evenly spread the thickened rhubarb sauce over the crust.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Lower speed to medium and add sugar mixture one tablespoon at a time. The meringue is ready when stiff peaks are formed, and all the sugar is incorporated.
Spread meringue over rhubarb mixture all the way to the edges of the pan. Use the back of a spoon to create peaks all over the meringue. Bake 8 minutes or until peaks are golden brown. Cool, cut into nine squares, then serve.
This recipe can be made gluten free by replacing the flour in the crust with a gluten free flour mix or almond flour and replacing the 2 tablespoons of flour in the filling with 1 tablespoon corn starch.