Hi my Cakers, Bakers and Beauties.
Please forgive the lack of fancy formatting on this post, I’m currently in the Dominican Republic and I’m using my phone to do this quick post.
I’m in DR on a family holiday to celebrate my Mother’s 50th Birthday.
My Mum doesn’t really LOVE cake as much as the rest of us, but of course she loves MY cake creations, however Mum wanted a Rhubarb Meringue Pie instead of a birthday cake this year and as much as I wanted to oblige this request, it’s illegal to bring Rhubarb into DR and they do not have it here not even in tins, I think it’s a very English/UK ingredient as I have not seen it widely used in general cuisine anywhere else really not even in Continental Europe. I’m sure some people outside UK must use it but I don’t believe it’s common.
Anyway Meringue Pie can be made with practically any flavour filling you like as long as you prepare it correctly. As you know it’s usually made with a Lemon filling and I’m of the opinion that tart fruity fillings work best in this dessert to balance the sweetness of the meringue topping.
Pineapples are one of Mum’s favourite fruits and fortunately they are in abundance over here so it seemed an obvious choice for a fruity filling I also added fresh lime zest and juice for extra zing and a couple of teaspoons of locally produced Brown sugar.
I let the fruit mixture simmer on a low heat for 15ish minutes to reduce the liquid and to “kill” the enzymes in the fruit that would break down the protein in my meringue mixture if I used the fruit raw. You can use tinned pineapple and you won’t have to heat it but I like to use fresh fruit where possible, especially as I’m currently in the Caribbean! I then drained the fruit but reserved the juices. I blended the solid fruit to chunky puree and thickened the juices with cornflour stirring constantly over a low heat. I combined the puree and thickened sauce and left it to cool.
I made the buttery biscuit base as normal with crushed digestives and butter, I was so happy to find digestive biscuits over here but I would have used something else if I couldn’t find any. Once the fruity mix was cooled I spread it on top of kid base and then chilled the whole lot again.
The Meringue topping was the biggest challenge as I could not find a mechanical double whisk, electrical or hand operated. So I separated my eggs which was tough as the yolks here are quite runny and then set about beating my egg whites BY HAND it’s about 35 degrees centigrade in the kitchen I was working in and I worked up a sweat I tell you! To make things worse it’s so hot that once I got the sugar in the egg whites were at stiff peaks they kept on going runny again even though I’d put my bowl and whisk in the freezer before hand to keep the mix cool. Eventually after much re-whisking and trying not to over beat the mixture, it was stiff enough to form fancy peaks and go in the oven. The oven here is dodgy, by that I mean that the heat is uneven but I kept an eye on it and it turned out well but was browned unevenly.
Unfortunately it’s really hot and humid where I am so the meringue top didn’t cool quickly enough and stay as crunchy as I would’ve liked. Normally I wouldn’t refrigerate the pie at all but due to the heat and “interesting wildlife” the pie would attract and to the keep the filling firm this pie definitely went in the fridge.
It was worth all the hard work though because my Mum and family loved it!