Rhubarb is definitely not one of my favourite things, especially stewed with apple … gag! However, teamed in a good pastry with the caramel and meringue, it’s delicious.
We were served this with good old Tip Top Vanilla ice cream, but I rather like a good dollop of créme fraîche.
1 quantity of sweet short pastry (I used Panetone available from Vetro)
2 eggs, separated
2 cups caster sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 cups rhubarb, chopped
Roll out your pastry on a floured board and line a well-greased, loose bottom, shallow flan tin with the pastry. Place baking paper on top and then ceramic baking beans. Bake at about 190°C for approximately 20–25 minutes. Take out of the oven and remove the baking paper and baking beans. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.
While this is happening, pour boiling water over the chopped rhubarb and leave for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
In a mixer, cream the butter with 1 cup of the caster sugar until pale. Add the egg yolks and continue to beat for another minute. Finally add the flour and mix.
Place the rhubarb into the pastry case and top with the batter.
Place into a pre-heated oven of about 160°C and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the batter is set.
Place the egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat until stiff. Gradually add the remaining caster sugar and beat until dissolved.
Remove the flan from the oven and immediately place the meringue on top. Turn the oven down to 130°C and return the flan to the oven. Cook until the meringue is firm to the touch and slightly golden – approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve warm, with either vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche.
Note: The batter turns into a gooey caramel, so don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t set firmly! I wouldn’t recommend cooking the base/batter in advance as the butter in the caramel can split.