Summer is here! I love and hate it at the same time. I love it because it is summer: sunny, hot, with a lot of fresh fruits and fun activities. But I hate it because it is impossible for me to do anything serious in summer. And my best friend Marfa explained it so well just today: in Russia every single year during school (and it is 12 years!!) we had no school for the whole summer. This habit is not so easy to break! This is probably a reason why she wanted to become a teacher!
Summer is always something that I am looking for; and it always is something that comes unnoticeable (and of course ends too quickly!). But the first sign of summer for me is rhubarb. I love to eat it raw, but for my boyfriend it is a challenge, so I prepared this pie for him. It is sweet and sour with buttery short crust.
200g butter (room temperature)
70g icing sugar
3 egg yolks
pinch of salt
500g rhubarb cut is pieces
1 cup of sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 egg white
1/4 cup of water
For the crust soften the butter with icing sugar, add eggs one by one, add milk, mix well, add flour and salt, mix just enough to combine them together (the more you mix it at this point, the worse the taste will be, so just combine them and stop). Wrap in plastic and put in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to chill. You can prepare this dough in advance and keep it frozen. Preheat the oven 350F (180C).
For the filling mix rhubarb with sugar, bring to a boil and cook on medium heat 10-15 minutes (until rhubarb softens a little). Mix with cornstarch and set aside.
Roll the dough and put in the pan. Make holes with the fork. Put weights (I use special ceramic balls, but dried beans also would work) inside the crust and bake for approximately 15 minutes (you will see that edges become golden and the bottom of the crust don’t have any moisture). After that remove everything from the crust and fill with rhubarb, bake for another 15-20 minutes.
For the meringue, whip the egg whites while boiling the sugar with water until it reaches 121C (or soft ball stage). Use thermometer for cooking. Then continue whipping the egg whites, add boiling syrup and whip until it reaches room temperature.
Cook down the pie a little and pipe meringue on top. To make it a little bit brown on the edges, broil it for 1-2 minutes (be very careful – it burns very quickly!).