you can’t judge a pie by its meringue

May 4, 2007 at 7:53 pm 2 comments

Our rhubarb patch survived the four day freeze and is growing like crazy so it’s time for some rhubarb pie. I had just made some ice cream the day before which calls for 8 egg yolks so I had 8 egg whites I needed to use up. I have a great recipe for rhubarb cream meringue pie. I think I’ve made it each Spring for the past nine years– the length of time we’ve lived in this house with the huge rhubarb patch.

My dad was in town and he doesn’t prefer meringue, so I thought I would make a rhubarb crisp to go alongside the meringue pie which my husband likes.

I didn’t read the recipe carefully. I’ve been baking this pie long enough, or so I thought, that I could just skim the recipe. I missed the part where it says to boil the rhubarb down until it is a jelly-like consistency. When I was pouring the rhubarb ingredients into the pie crust, I thought to myself that it seemed a little thin. I even sprinkled in some extra flour for extra thickening power. Then I spooned all the frothy eggs whites on top of the pie mixture and swirled it and teased the eggs into peaks. Fantastic. I popped it in the oven and kept a close eye on it so my meringue would brown, but not too much. I quickly realized that I was supposed to bake the pie crust at least partially before adding the filling. OOPS. I guess we’ll have a mushy crust.

The pie sure was pretty, though. The meringue looked perfect. But when I cut into it, not only was the crust mushy, the filling was liquid. This wasn’t a pie. It was a weird looking liquid with rhubarb floating in it. My husband took one look at it and requested the crisp instead. But the weird thing is, my dad wanted to try the meringue. Here’s a reversal!

The meringue did look good, but you can’t judge a pie by its meringue because the rest of the pie was a disaster. The next day I carefully scooped the meringue off the pie and stuck in the refrigerator for later. Then I poured the filling into a sauce pan and boiled it away until it became that jelly-like consistency that it was supposed to be. I also baked my crust until it was crispy. Then I put the half pie back together again. It was tasty. The pie was saved. And next time I’ll be sure it to follow the directions, all the directions!


Entry filed under: baking, everyday life, recipes, rhubarb pie.

recipe for rhubarb meringue pie Part 2: will somebody please just empty my rosie?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. "my dad"  |  May 8, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    I really didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. I ate it with a fork and left my plate cleaner than any other used plate at the table. She didn’t send any of either dish with us when we went home the next day.

    On the other hand, I happened to see her when she was fixing the meringue. There was never more care lavished on Madame Pompadour’s do. And I don’t think I ever saw another meringue as high or as elaborately primped as that one. It was obvious what that fuss was about: this was the component of the meal that had the extra creative energy invested in it. Proper recognition required.

    And now Guinever, I understand: the crisp, with the components dumped into the pan in the right order and baked, was for me. The mountain of meringue, poked and teased into just the right presentation, was for the man I gave you to. You have your priorities in the right order.

  • 2. guinever  |  May 8, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    dad, I wondered when you would come out of lurkdom and make a comment (besides on Alex’s page).


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Welcome to my personal blog about my life as a wife and homeschooling mother of a few energetic children! You'll find my favorite recipes, all kinds of reviews, the occasional rant, and whatever else I feel like writing about.

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