There is so much joy and anticipation in eating seasonal foods, especially when it comes to vegetables that are as beautiful as rhubarb! I always get excited when this pink stemmed beauty arrives on farmers markets and supermarkets as it is a sure sign to me that winter is finally retreating.
Rhubarb is great in sweet as well as in savoury dishes but I have to admit that I prefer it in sweet dishes. The combination of sweet and sour is just unbeatable. If you are also a fan of the slightly sour taste of rhubarb in sweet dishes you will love this recipe. It is much easier than it looks and the tangy, sour rhubarb is nicely offset with the sweetness of the meringue top.
For 1 cake you will need: 600g (21 oz) rhubarb, 2 tbsp sugar, 100g (3.5 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature, 70g (1/3 cup) of caster sugar, 1 pinch of salt, 2 medium eggs, 150g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) plain flour, 50g (1.8oz) ground almonds, 2 tbsp baking powder, 3 egg whites, 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar, 25 g (1/3 cup) almond flakes crushed, 20g (1/4 cup) almond flakes.
Printable recipe at the end of this post!
Wash and cut 600 g (21 oz) of rhubarb into small piece (if you bought it with leafs, remove and discard as they are inedible and even poisonous). Mix the rhubarb with 2 tbsp of sugar and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. During this time the rhubarb will lose quite a bit of liquid.
Pour the rhubarb into a sieve, allowing the liquid to strain through. (Catch the liquid if you want – I like to add it to cold sparkling water for a refreshing light pink drink).
Mix together 200g (3.5 oz) soft unsalted butter and 70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar until it is nice and fluffy and the sugar almost dissolved, then add the 2 eggs one by one.
Sieve in 150g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) plain flour with 2 tbsp of baking powder, add a pinch of salt and 50g (1.8oz) ground almonds
Bring it all together with a wooden spoon – do not overwork the dough.
Fill the dough into a 26 cm (9 1/2 inch) springform pan.
Top the dough with the rhubarb pieces and bake for about 25 minutes in a preheated oven at 150ºC (300F) fan or 175ºC (350F) conventional.
To make the meringue, place 2 egg whites into a high jug and beat until stiff peaks form. Then slowly add 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar until it becomes dense and shiny.
Fold 25 g (1/3 cup) crushed almond flakes into the meringue mix.
Take the cake out of the oven and spread the meringue evenly on top. I like to pat the surface of the meringue with a wooden spoon all over to create little peaks (just for decoration).
Before you place the cake back in the oven sprinkle 20g (1/4 cup) almond flakes on top and bake for another 15 minutes at fan 150ºC (300F) or 175ºC (350F) conventional.
Take it out of the oven when the top has a light golden colour and let it cool down completely before you take it out of its form.