These rhubarb meringue layers are 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today we’re doing a throw-back recipe. I posted these Rhubarb Meringue Layers a few months after I started my blog:
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.
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).
Definitely let me know if you try this recipe out for your Easter festivities! It truly is one of my favorites.
- If you love rhubarb, you will love my mother in law’s classic Rhubarb Custard Pie
- Rhubarb Cream Cheese Muffins
- Strawberry Rhubarb Italian Sodas
- And in case you missed it earlier this week, here’s the Fresh Blackberry Glace Pie I posted. Yay summer fruit!
- Rhubarb Crumble Pancakes from the Pancake Princess
- Rhubarb Custard Bars from Dulce Dough
- Raspberry Rhubarb Slab Pie from Crumbs and Chaos
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Rhubarb Meringue Layers
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 rhubarb, thawed and drained, fresh or frozen, sliced
For the meringue:
- 6 egg whites
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
- 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).
- 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.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 350.
- To make the custard, in a cold saucepan combine 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
- 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.
- Chop the rhubarb. If your stalk is exceptionally thick, you can slice it lengthwise once, then chop.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Cool, cut into bars, then devour!
- 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.
Would love to try this with strawberries, do you think that fruit swap would work ok?
Hi Hayley! No, sadly, strawberries sometimes get kind of weird when you bake them. It might work totally fine, but there’s no way to know without testing. If you try it, make it ahead of time before serving to guests! Also cut way back on the sugar, strawberries are much sweeter than rhubarb.
This does make me want to try rhubarb! I’ve never had it. I am cracking up that Eric was practicing standing for the concert. Too funny!
You inspire me for your use of rhubarb (I’ve never tried rhubarb, but if you say this is the first recipe on my list, then I’ll take it!) and also for your stamina with standing at concerts – I am THE WORST concert stander ever. EVER.
This looks gorgeous, Karen! And your meringue is perfect!! P.S. pom-pom girl needs to go, like yesterday.
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.
I’m kind of in awe that you went twice. AND that you didn’t beat her down with her pom pom. Go you!!
What a deliciously creative recipe! I am dying to try this tasty mix of fruity flavors!
I have yet to have rhubarb and I am sooo behind! This meringue looks to die for and I love your photography :)
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!!
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.
Rhubarb wouldn’t grow in Florida?? I’m surprised I thought anything would grow there :) Thanks for commenting Myrna!
I’ve made a similar recipe and it is phenomenal! LOVE rhubarb!
Thanks Ashley! Rhubarb lovers unite!
I must try these bars! As a kid I did hate rhubarb, but now I love it. But I’ve always been a fan of U2. Now to practice standing as I devour these bars…
Hahaha these bars would be good standing, sitting, running, walking… :)
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…
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.
I owe it all to you for introducing me to the wonderful world or rhubarb, Kris!