My maternal grandmother was a no nonsense woman. That came from raising seven children and being able to hone the day’s activities down to what was necessary. Her cooking was basic, hearty and delicious. She always had a large vegetable garden along with apple, pear and peach trees. Summer meant lots of canning jars being filled. It also meant Rhubarb Meringue Pie made with rhubarb from her garden and fresh eggs from her chickens.
To remember Bapka, Mom would make at least one Rhubarb Meringue Pie in the summer. Now I make one to remember Bapka and Mom.
BAPKA’S RHUBARB MERINGUE PIE
Heat your oven to 375 degrees
Line a pie pan with raw pie crust, then brush the bottom with a small amount of egg white. Mom said it keeps the crust from getting soggy.
Cut unpeeled rhubarb stalks into ½” to ¾” pieces.
You’ll need 4 to 5 cups of cut up rhubarb depending on the size of your pie pan.
Separate 3 to 4 eggs. The yolks are for the pie, the whites are for the meringue.
¾ cup sugar. Use more sugar if you want your pie less tart.
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Toss the cut up rhubarb with the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch, then spoon the mixture into the pie shell. Place the pie into the oven and bake until the rhubarb is fork tender and the custard is bubbly. Cover the pie with foil if the rhubarb starts to brown and isn’t tender enough.
As the rhubarb becomes tender, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks with a dash of Cream of Tartar and a heaping tablespoon of powdered sugar for each egg white.
Remove the pie from the oven, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees, and spoon the meringue over the top of the hot pie. The hot pie will cook the meringue from the bottom. Put the pie back into oven. The lower temperature cooks the meringue through and gently browns the top. You may have to turn the pie to evenly brown the top.
When the meringue is golden brown, remove the pie from the oven and cool the pie completely before cutting. John Hink