Rhubarb and Coconut Meringue Pie

This scrumptious recipe takes a seasonal twist on a much loved classic.

Ingredients:

Sandy Sike

700g trimmed rhubarb, cut into 3cm pieces

160g golden caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra to taste

Grated zest and juice of ½ orange

4 tbsp cornflour

4 large free-range egg yolks (use the whites in the meringue)

50g unsalted butter, melted

For the coconut pastry

50g desiccated coconut

200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tbsp caster sugar

110g unsalted cold butter, cubed

About 2 tbsp iced water

For the coconut meringue

3 large free-range egg whites

175g caster sugar

40g desiccated coconut

Method:

  1. For the coconut pastry, put the coconut into a food processor with 1 tbsp of the flour and pulse to a fine mixture. Mix with the rest of the flour in a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Add the cubed butter and, using your fingertips, rub into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add just enough iced water to bind. Knead briefly until smooth, wrap in cling film, and then chill for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat a baking sheet in the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20cm x 3.5cm fluted loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 30 minutes. Line the pastry case with baking paper and baking beans or rice and blind-bake for 12 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove the paper and beans/rice and bake for 5 minutes or until crisp and golden. Set aside.
  3. Turn the oven down to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. For the filling, mix the rhubarb with 70g of the sugar, and the orange zest and juice. Scatter in a roasting tray and roast for 20 minutes. Purée the rhubarb and its juices in a food processor, then pass through a sieve, pushing the rhubarb through with a wooden spoon into a pan to extract as much as possible. In a small bowl, mix the remaining sugar with the cornflour and enough of the rhubarb purée to make a paste. Return to the pan containing the rest of the rhubarb. Bring to the boil, bubble for a minute, and then remove from the heat. Taste and, if it’s too tart, add 1 tbsp more sugar. Mix the egg yolks with the butter, then stir into the rhubarb mixture to make a curd. Scrape into a bowl, cover, cool and chill.
  4. Pour the curd into the pastry case and bake for 30 minutes until set. Cool completely, then chill while you make the meringue (or see tip).
  5. For the meringue, whisk the egg whites until stiff, add 1 tbsp of the sugar, then whisk until stiff again. Add the remaining sugar in this way. Fold through the coconut and spoon the meringue over the rhubarb curd to form pretty peaks. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the meringue is golden and crisp on the outside. Remove, cool and serve.
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