Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Pie (gluten-free or not)

IMG_9697I am very proud of this pie.  The filling is zingy, a bit tart and has a nice jammy consistency with chunks of fruit. The meringue is fluffy and sweet and very pretty, even if you (like me) have no patience for piping meringue and just slap it on top in a messy way.IMG_9683

This recipe really took a long time to figure out.  I made 4 (maybe 5)  failed attempts.  I tried different ways of thickening the filling (roasting, using tapioca pearls) before deciding to use the method that worked best for the Raspberry Rhubarb Almond Tart that I made last year.  I tried adding almond flour to the crust but it got soggy and was too sweet.  I also struggled with figuring out baking times and temperatures to produce a filling that was totally set AND a meringue that was not overcooked.  I did however, hit upon the seasonings that I wanted right away.  I often find strawberry rhubarb pie to be too sweet and bland.  Fresh ginger and orange zest make this filling uniquely zingy.

I probably would have given up after attempt #3 but I went to see a friend’s puppet show and she asked me if I had a recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie.  I saw the same friend at a concert a few nights later and she asked again.  So we all have Cybele to thank for this recipe.IMG_9718

FILLING

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 cups 1/2″-thick slices rhubarb (about 1-1 1/4 lb.)
  •  8 oz small fresh strawberries (the giant strawberries lack flavour and will make your pie soggy!)
  • 1 inch knob of fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • the zest of 1 orange
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  1. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 Tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine rhubarb,strawberries, ginger, orange zest and sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves and juices are released (4 minutes).
  3. Stir in cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil, then remove it from the heat.  The rhubarb will not be cooked and that is okay!
  4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow it to cool for 30 minutes before proceeding.  You can make the pie crust while it cools.

PIE CRUST

If you do not need to eat gluten-free, make this pie using the Old- Fashioned Pie Crust recipe at this link.  Halve the recipe, since this pie is not a double crust, or make the full recipe and freeze the extra dough for future pie happiness.

GLUTEN FREE PIE CRUST

adapted from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts.  

Gluten Free Pie Mix

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cups potato starch (NOT POTATO FLOUR)
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour

This will make enough for two of these crusts (or one of these crusts and a quiche crust, or almost any other single crust pie or tart on this blog).  Just keep the extra for next time!

Gluten free Pie Crust

  • 1 cups plus 2 Tablespoons gluten-free pie mix
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet rice flour (also known as mochi or glutinous rice flour)
  • 2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons lemon or orange juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Butter an 11 inch tart tin and dust it with rice flour.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  4. Cut the butter in to the dry ingredients and use your fingers to combine until it has the consistency of course cornmeal.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and lemon juice together.
  6. Add the egg and lemon mixture to the flour and butter, and combine into a ball.
  7. Measure out two 12 inch sheets of wax paper.  Roll the dough out between two sheets of wax paper.
  8. Remove one of the sheets of wax paper and flip the dough into the tart tin.
  9. Remove the second sheet of wax paper and press the dough in to the tart tin using your fingers to repair any cracks.
  10. Pour the cooled raspberry rhubarb filling in the crust and smooth it out.
  11. Bake the tart for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.
  12. While the pie bakes, gather your meringue ingredients and make sure that they are at room temperature.IMG_9682

MERINGUE

You can start the meringue 5 or 10 minutes before the pie is done or begin it right when the pie gets out of the oven.  The goal is to put the meringue on top of the pie while it is still hot, to prevent weeping (that’s when the meringue closest to the pie filling is not fully cooked. Yuck).  So work swiftly!

  • 4 room temperature egg whites (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 oz confections sugar (2/3 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  1. Put the egg whites in a large bowl or a standing mixer and whisk until soft peaks form. They should resemble shaving cream more than shampoo lather. Add the confectioners sugar, a tablespoon at a time, while continuing to whisk.
  2. Sprinkle in the cornflour and continue to whisk until glossy stiff peaks form (again more like shaving cream than shampoo).

FINISHING THE PIE

  1. Reduce the oven to 350.
  2. Top the hot pie with the meringue and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the meringue is golden.  If you bake the meringue for too long it will “bead” when it cools.  Little beads of caramelized sugar will form on top of the meringue.  This is not the end of the world in my opinion.  It looks a little odd, but it still tastes great!
  3. Allow the pie to cool before slicing.IMG_9746

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About Big Sis Little Dish

This is a blog run by two sisters. Erin is the big sister who lives in New York, and Silvi is the little sister who lives in Vancouver. They both love to cook! They created this blog to share and store recipes for the food they make.

3 comments

  1. Glenda

    Beautiful! We must make rhubarb pie on Gabriola this summer. Alas, no rhubarb here.

  2. I ADORE strawberry and rhubarb together!! YUM!! :)

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