Rhubarb and cardamom meringue pie

Rhubarb, you either love it or hate it. There is no in between, is there? I remember reading about a rhubarb and meringue dessert in the first Harry Potter book, as it was one of the many delicacies they were served at the Great Hall for dinner. It fascinated me, probably because it’s quite unknown in Spain, and also because it was in many recipes in the old cookbooks from my English grandmother, and they had the look and feel of a fairytale from the british countryside. I don’t know about you, but I can totally picture little red riding hood picking rhubarb in her basket, ready to take it to her grandmother for jam or compote making. Rhubarb is especially popular in the northern countries of Europe, and in Germany it is even commercialized in sparkly juice form, which incidentally I find absolutely delicious and refreshing. I might bring you the recipe to homemade rhubarb juice some other time!

So just recently while at the supermarket – that place that is privy to many of the ideas I write about here – G put 2 big rhubarb stalks in our shopping trolley and said “What are you going to make with these?”. And just like that, I had the perfect recipe for these. Last spring I did make a rhubarb and ginger jam, however the two strong opposing flavours did not make for a very pleasant experience so I wasn’t going to try that again. But cardamom and rhubarb? You can trust me when I say that was a match made in heaven.

  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 180g brown sugar
  • 60g flour
  • 2 rhubarb stalks, washed and sliced
  • 3 egg whites
  • 200g sugar
  • vanilla
  • 1 pastry (either store-bought or homemade. If you’re using my recipe, make sure to only use half, as the original recipe is for a double crust pie)

  1. Preheat oven to 150ºC.
  2. Press the pastry onto a pie plate and trim any excess.
  3. In a bowl, crush the cardamom pods and discard everything but the seeds.
  4. Put together the brown sugar, cardamom, flour and rhubarb and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile beat the egg whites to stiff peaks together with the vanilla, while adding sugar one tablespoon at a time.
  6. Pour the rhubarb onto the pie shell and bake for 45 minutes at 150ºC.
  7. Spread the meringue over the rhubarb making sure to completely cover it. Bake until light brown, about 10 minutes.