Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Tartlets

Another spring, another rhubarb recipe. Every March I see the little red shoots poking through the dead leaves and I get a bit excited knowing that winter is finally on its way out. It’s a sign of hope, and a promise of all the other fresh produce that’s to come.



I’ve celebrated with many great rhubarb recipes over the years— everything from coffee cake to crisps— but this year I went back to my favorite strawberry rhubarb pie, with a twist. I swapped out one pie dish for four little tart pans and ditched the top crust in favor of a pillow of toasted meringue.


Baking with Rhubarb (Baking Tip)
I’m fortunate to have several rhubarb plants in my backyard that produce stalks from mid April to September. I’ve found that most well-stocked grocery stores and farmer’s markets sell fresh rhubarb in early spring. One thing to keep in mind is that the flavor of rhubarb changes over the course of the season. Stalks picked later in the season are more tart than those earlier in the season, and the amount of sugar in recipes will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Ingredients

  • For the sweet tart dough:
  • 1½ cup (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (57 grams) powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons (147 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


For the filling:

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1½ cup (200 grams) strawberries, sliced
  • 1½ cup (175 grams) rhubarb, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • For the meringue:
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup sugar


Instructions

To make the tart dough:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse in short bursts until the butter is the size of small peas. Slowly add the beaten egg and pulse until the mixture comes together into a ball. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
  2. Let the dough sit at room temperature for a few minutes, then roll out to about ¼ inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Use a large round cutter or a knife to cut out circles of dough for each tart pan (I used 5 inch circles for my 4-inch tart pans).
  3. Grease tart pans with butter, then press the dough circles into each pan. Chill in the freezer until ready to bake.


To make the filling:

  1. In a medium saucepan, toss all ingredients together in a bowl to coat the fruit. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is moistened and the strawberry and rhubarb start to soften.
  2. Divide filling between the 4 tart shells. Place on a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees F until filling is bubbling and dough is golden, 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely, then remove tarts from their pans.


To make the meringue:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Slowly add the sugar to the egg whites while continuing to mix. Beat to stiff peaks. Spread meringue onto the tops of each tartlet.
  2. Brown the meringue with a hand-held kitchen torch or under an oven broiler (watch it carefully). Serve immediately. Store any leftover tartlets in the fridge.


Notes
Note: This recipe can be baked as one 8 or 9-inch tart. Follow instructions as given, substituting one tart pan for 4. Increase baking time to 35-40 minutes.


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