SEASONAL RECIPES | Do you know Färm? It’s a Brussels-based sustainable food cooperative. For the moment, they have 3 shops – one at Tomberg, one at Sainte-Catherine and another at Hankar – and a fourth one is opening soon in Uccle. The cooperative aims at giving access to sustainable and healthy food to the masses. In those shops, you will find food and cleaning products, all organic, ecologic, sustainable, and local. It’s even possible to join the project and become a cooperant! Besides, there’s a little deli service with cheeses, deli meats, pies and cakes for the foodies out there. You can also find all kinds of breads, flour, nuts and legumes, many of them in bulk in order to limit waste as much as possible! It also has everything for gluten intolerant, vegetarian and vegan people, unlike mainstream supermarkets 😉
Another good news is that you can pay everything with eco-cheques! This came in very handy since I still had many of them valid until September only, so I went a little overboard… Superfoods, chia seeds, spirulina, strawberries, granola, etc. At the grocery checkout, the cashier kindly told me that rhubarb was the week’s star product and that I happened to have a ton of it in my bag! Then, I still wasn’t sure what kind dish I would make with it but since I love tangy desserts, I just had to make a meringue pie with it. For the moment, I still make the meringue with egg whites and sugar, but I intend to post a vegan version in the future. Apparently it’s possible to have great results with aquafaba!
Oh, and by the way, I really didn’t have any time for styling or fancy decorations for this recipe. I’m really not happy with the photos! But you see, this little one was eager to blow his birthday candle 😉
I promise I’ll do better next time!
For a 24 cm pie (serves 6 to 8)
For the shortbread crust
- 250 gr flour + 10 gr for the working surface
- 125 gr butter in small cubes
- 25 gr water
- 25 gr cane sugar
- 1 packet vanilla sugar (8 to 10 gr)
- a pinch of salt
- 1 egg
For the pie
- 500 gr rhubarb
- 2 apples (for example Boskoop or Gala)
- 25 cl cream
- 3 eggs
- 90 gr cane sugar + 15 gr for the rhubarb + 15 gr for caramelizing the apples
- 1 packet vanilla sugar (8 to 10 gr)
- 100 gr icing sugar
- 1 knob of butter
Let’s start with the shortbread crust. With your fingers, mix the butter with the flour, rubbing the mixture between the fingers and the palm of your hands until you get a regular, crumbly texture. Make a well in the center and crack one egg, then add the sugar (both cane and vanilla sugar), salt and water.
Mix with the tip of your fingers while making spiral movements starting from the center of the well to the outside. After mixing all the liquid with the the flour and butter, form a mass.
Don’t knead the dough too much and make a ball with it. Flatten it slightly, wrap it up in cling film and let it rest in the fridge.
Meanwhile, peel out the fibrous parts of the rhubarb, but leave as much red parts as possible (it’s nicer visually). Cut it out into 1 cm pieces, put them in a colander, sprinkle some sugar and let drain.
In a big bowl, pour 25 cl cream, 1 egg, 2 egg yolks, 90 gr cane sugar and one packet vanilla sugar. Mix well with a whisk. Keep the 2 egg whites aside for making the meringue later.
Peel the apples and cut them into small pieces. Heat a knob of butter in a pan and slightly caramelize the apples with some sugar (no longer than 5 minutes). Keep aside.
Preheat the oven at 180°. The dough should have rested long enough by now. Take it out of the fridge, flour your working surface and flatten it with a rolling pin. Line a 24-cm tart pan and use a fork to poke holes into pastry.
Prebake the dough for 10 minutes.
Then arrange the rhubarb and apples on the prebaked dough and pour the mixed cream, eggs and sugar. Make sure the sugar is well mixed and not concentrated at the bottom of the bowl. Bake at 180° for 30 minutes.
When there’s about 10 minutes baking time left, start making the meringue. With a mixer, beat 2 egg whites until stiff, then slowly add the icing sugar while still beating. Take the pie out of the oven and cover it with the meringue. If you like, you can use a fork to make stiff peaks, or you can use a pastry bag to be creative with shapes. Bake for another 10 minutes at 150°.
Sprinkle with icing sugar right before serving … it’s ready! Enjoy 😉