This is my absolute favourite summer cake. It’s got a crunchy pastry case, soft and sour rhubarb in a sweet vanilla pudding and a lovely soft meringue topping. I’ve never met a person who didn’t like this cake. Guaranteed a winner.
200g Plain Flour
100g Cold Butter
75g Caster Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
Zest of half a Lemon
1 Egg Yolk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Egg Yolk
More Caster Sugar, depending on how sour your Rhubarb is
3 Egg Whites
100g Icing Sugar
Pinch of Salt
Put all ingredients for the pastry case in a bowl and combine them quickly using either your hands, a food processor or a stand mixer. When there are no more lumps of butter in it and it’s a smooth pastry, put it in a bowl and stick it in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Take the wooden ends off the rhubarb. To peel it, carefully grab the skin with a knife and pull it off. It should come off the stalk in one go. If it doesn’t want to come off you can carefully scrape it off with a sharp knife. Cut the rhubarb in bite sized pieces. Try a bit to check how sweet and sour it is. Mine was very sour so I added 2 tablespoons of sugar to it and gave it a good mix.
Grease and flour a 26cm spring form tin. Grab the chilled pastry and take off small bits, roll them into sausages and press those into the rim of the spring form, forming a 2cm high pastry rim. Blob the leftover pastry into the bottom of the spring form and press it down. Make sure there are no holes in the base or the rim of your pastry case. I like to use the back of a finger to press along the “seam” of the case to make sure there are no rips and that the pastry doesn’t bunch up in the corners.
Put the spring form tin back in the fridge for another 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180 degree C.
Add most of the 300 ml of milk into a medium/large saucepan on a medium heat. Mix the cornflour, vanilla extract and sugar into the rest of the milk. When the milk in the pan starts bubbling, add the cornflour mixture and set it onto a high heat. Whisk constantly until the pudding thickens. If you don’t want to waste the 2 leftover egg yolks from the egg whites we need for the meringue, you can mix them into the pudding as well. They’ll give it a nice colour and help thicken it a bit more.
When it’s nice and thick take it off the heat and add it to the rhubarb. Combine it well and fill it into the chilled pastry case. There should be no gaps, use your fingers to even it out if necessary but be careful to not burn yourself if the pudding is still hot.
Put the cake into the oven for 20 minutes.
Add the egg whites into a clean, grease free bowl and start whisking. Add the pinch of salt. This helps the structures in the egg whites to break up and they will whip up better. When the egg whites are forming soft peaks slowly add your icing sugar and whip further until your meringue is nice and glossy.
Add the meringue to the top of your cake, making sure you cover all the rhubarb pudding filling, reduce the oven temperature to 150 degree C and bake for a further 25-30 minutes.