Rhubarb Meringue Layers

Don’t hate on rhubarb guys. This stuff is legit. A buttery crust topped with rhubarb and a thick custard, and finally a fluffy meringue. It is one of my favorite desserts ever. It feeds a crowd too, perfect for potlucks!

Rhubarb Meringue Layers from The Food Charlatan

Last week Eric and I went to see U2 twice. Yes, you read that right. Twice. We went to the SAME CONCERT. TWICE.

Eric spent several days leading up to the concert(s) practicing his standing skillz in preparation. Apparently standing at a concert for several hours is no joke, and he wanted to be ready. So, standing practice. Put that on your agenda for next time you are prepping for 2 concerts in a row. Oh wait, you are normal. I forgot.

Rhubarb Meringue Layers from The Food Charlatan

There are a lot of normal people at U2 concerts, by the way. We just didn’t meet any of them. There were the 65-year-old potheads next to us in line (talking about the U2 concerts they went to in the 80s), the couple that flew all the way from Boise, and the extremely jumpy short girl who was standing directly in front of me…with a pom-pom. A pom pom that she snapped repeatedly in my face in her jumpy-puppy excitement.

Rhubarb Meringue Layers from The Food Charlatan

I’m a pretty nice person, okay? I mean, I haven’t killed any butterflies lately. But you snap a pom-pom in my face in your efforts to get Bono’s attention and I WILL push your hand down 20 times in a row. I had JUST resolved to snatch it out of her hand and throw it on stage when she decided she was done. It’s a shame. I was kind of ready for a cat fight.

Rhubarb Meringue Layers from The Food Charlatan

I like U2, but it’s nothing compared to Eric. He is a true fan, minus the pot and pom-poms (thank goodness). But dang guys, this concert (both of them, I should say) were pretty freaking awesome. If you every get the chance you should totally go see them. TWICE.

Rhubarb Meringue Layers from The Food Charlatan

Today we’re doing a throw-back recipe. I posted these Rhubarb Meringue Layers a few months after I started my blog:

^^Here’s the original photo from back in 2012!

I make them every year, it is totally one of my favorite spring desserts! I made it 3 times so far just in the last few weeks. If you’ve never tried rhubarb, make this first. It’s easy, foolproof, and SO FREAKING GOOD. I know it’s not winning any beauty contests, but try to see past the fact that rhubarb looks like giant red celery.

Rhubarb Meringue Layers from The Food Charlatan

It doesn’t exactly make you think, “Mm, custard bars!!” But trust me guys. This stuff is legit. It’s like an amazing combination of rhubarb pie and lemon meringue pie, with double the amount of crust (yes please).

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Rhubarb Meringue Layers

Yield: Serves 12-16

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, cut into chunks
  • For the custard:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup half & half OR cream
  • 5 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) rhubarb, sliced
  • For the meringue:
  • 6 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  2. For the crust, in a large bowl combine the 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (Or pulse in a food processor).
  3. Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. I like to use an empty glass or a measuring cup to get it nice and flat.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes at 350.
  5. To make the custard, in a cold saucepan combine 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  6. Beat the egg yolks and the 1 cup half-and-half (or cream) in a separate bowl, then combine with the flour mixture in the saucepan. Turn the burner on to medium heat. Stir until the mixture gets thick. This takes about 12-15 minutes. Do not allow it to boil.
  7. Chop the rhubarb. If your stalk is exceptionally thick, you can slice it lengthwise once, then chop.
  8. Sprinkle the chopped rhubarb over the baked crust and then pour the custard over the top. Bake for 40 minutes. It will not look quite set, but shouldn't be super jiggly.
  9. For the meringue, combine egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, cream of tartar, and the vanilla; beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Spoon on top of the hot baked custard; carefully spread to edges.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Cool, cut into bars, then devour!
  11. I like to store these on the counter. Poke some toothpicks on top and cover with plastic wrap if you don't have a lid.

Notes

Press the crust onto the bottom of the pan, not up the sides. I know the first photo on this post shows crust on the side. I was experimenting with this recipe in a tart pan, but I didn't like the way it turned out (crust was too thin on the bottom). I liked that shot though, so I kept it.

http://thefoodcharlatan.com/2015/05/29/rhubarb-meringue-layers/

Source: adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Rhubarb Meringue Layers from The Food Charlatan

Rhubarb Meringue Layers from The Food Charlatan

I am a brand ambassador for Rodelle, and they sent me the vanilla that I used in this recipe, as well as some other baking supplies. I was not compensated to write this post, and all opinions are my own. Duh!

More rhubarb!

If you love rhubarb, you will love this! My mother in law’s classic Rhubarb Custard Pie:

Rhubarb Custard Pie

 

Rhubarb Cream Cheese Muffins:

Rhubarb Cream Cheese Muffins from The Food Charlatan

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Italian Sodas:

Strawberry Rhubarb Italian Creme Sodas from The Food Charlatan

And in case you missed it earlier this week, here’s the Fresh Blackberry Glace Pie I posted. Yay summer fruit!

Fresh Blackberry Glace Pie from The Food Charlatan

Rhubarb from friends:

Rhubarb Crumble Pancakes from the Pancake Princess
Rhubarb Custard Bars from Dulce Dough
Rhubarb Bars from Lara Ferroni
Raspberry Rhubarb Slab Pie from Crumbs and Chaos

Comments

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Comments

  1. pipwink says

    Hi Karen, these look delicious! I have a similar recipe I make every year with my rhubarb, but it has nutmeg in it and tastes just like my grandmother’s Rhubarb Custard Pie – which is the best Rhubarb pie EVER! I better go check my rhubarb plant on in the back yard and see if it’s producing yet. I forgot how much I love these bars & pie.

  2. janice says

    that is some beautiful-looking meringue! [by the way – why is that pronounced mur-ang?] i had a bad experience with rhubarb as a child, and have always thought i didn’t like it. maybe i’ll give it a whirl…

  3. myrna sossner says

    OHHH! Back when I was a girl living in western Mass. we had rhubarb growing in the back yard. Mom made pie and I made plain sauce. Now I’m in south Florida … no rhubarb … At least I have the memory and can appreciate your recipes and pictures! Thanks.

  4. says

    As a kid I didn’t care for rhubarb, but now that I am more sophisticated (haha) it is really good!! These bars look incredible! Oh oh oh by the way I tried your jdawgs and that sauce is super amazing and the kids thought it was really neat how the hot dogs were cut. Thanks!!
    Malinda @countrysidecravings recently posted…Easy Fruit PizzaMy Profile

  5. says

    Haha- this story seriously has me cracking up. My husband and I went to a Garth Brooks concert a couple months ago and on the way home I told him that I decided I don’t like people anymore. Ha! They were seriously so rude and crazy and we were all packed in like sardines- no thank you!!
    These bars look super delicious! I haven’t had rhubarb since I was a kid- I must try it again soon.

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