Thursday, 17 September 2015

Recipe for the Weekend: Rhubarb Cloud Pie

It’s rhubarb season and with Mother’s Day coming up, we thought we’d give you another sweet treat to make this weekend to impress mom: Rhubarb Cloud Pie, taken from Sweetie Pie by Hannah Miles. This gorgeous pie will definitely impress and you’ll want to take all the leftovers home with you.

Rhubarb cloud pie by Hannah Miles

Rhubarb cloud pie

There are many steps to this pie, but it is definitely worth trying. With creamy custard, sweet meringue, buttery base and tangy rhubarb, this is a decadent dessert.

3 sticks rhubarb
a few drops pink food coloring
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon caster/granulated sugar

7 oz./200 g custard creams/vanilla sandwich cookies
7 tablespoons/100 g butter, melted

4 egg whites
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 ¼ cups/250 g caster/granulated sugar

4 egg yolks
¼ cup/50 g caster/granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
generous 1 cup/250 ml double/heavy cream

14 oz./400 g rhubarb
1 tablespoon caster/granulated sugar
1 ¼ cup/300 ml double/heavy cream, whipped

silicone mat
9-in./23-cm round, springform cake pan, greased and lined
Serves 8

Begin by preparing the rhubarb tuiles, as they need to dry overnight.

Trim the ends of the rhubarb and peel into long thin strips using a swivel peeler. Place the strips of rhubarb in a large saucepan with just enough water to cover and add the food coloring, lemon juice and sugar. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, until just soft. Put the rhubarb onto a silicone mat and twist into pretty shapes. Leave in a warm place to dry overnight, until the rhubarb is crisp. Store carefully in an airtight container.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, Gas 4).

To make the topping, peel and chop the rhubarb into 5-cm/2-in. lengths. Place in an ovenproof dish, add the sugar and 2 tablespoons water, and toss together to coat. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft but still holding its shape. Drain away any liquid and set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 275°F (140°C, Gas 1).

For the base, blitz the cookies to fine crumbs in a food processor or place in a clean plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Add the melted butter and blitz again so that all the crumbs are coated. Using the back of a spoon, press the crumb mixture into the base of the prepared pan. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in foil to stop the butter leaking out.

For the meringue shell, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Sprinkle over the cream of tartar and, while whisking, add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, until you have a smooth glossy meringue. Spoon the meringue onto the cookie crumb base and, using a spatula, spread it across the base and up the sides to form a case to hold the custard filling.

For the custard, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy. Heat the vanilla and cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the egg mixture, whisking all the time. Return the custard to the saucepan and cook over a gentle heat, whisking constantly, until it starts to thicken. If the mixture starts to curdle, pass it through a sieve/strainer. Transfer to a bowl and let cool for a few minutes.

Pour the custard into the meringue shell and bake for 1 1⁄2-2 hours, until the meringue is crisp and the custard is set but still wobbly in the center. Slide a knife around the sides of the pan and let cool in the pan.

Remove the sides of the pan and place the pie on a serving plate, removing the lining paper. Place the cooled baked rhubarb on top of the custard. Spoon over the whipped cream and top with the rhubarb tuiles. Serve immediately. Any uneaten pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, but this pie is best eaten on the day it is made.

For more delicious dessert pies, tarts and flans, check out the Sweetie Pie by Hannah Miles!