rhubarb meringue fool pie
rhubarb stalks - cut from plant, remove large leaves, peel and chop into smaller pieces. place in a pan, cover and simmer with a little ginger until the chunks break down and go all stringy. drain in a sieve or muslim, squeezing out as much o teh excess water as possible. there's probably a lot, so leave it to stand/hang.
custard - open a tin of ready made custard (Asda basics - 27p!), pour it into a pan.
having separated 2 eggs, add the yolks into the pan of custard, stirring as it heats up.
remove from the heat and mix in the rhubarb - then leave to cool.
the meringue is made with the whites of the eggs - whisk up until they go white and fluffy, and as they say on the telly - 'forms soft peaks'. add some castor sugar - 4 or 5 tablespoons worth, 1 spoon at a time, whisk a little between each addition.
the oven should have been heated up to 200 - now turn it right down to about 140 or gas 3 or 4 before putting the meringue mix in. this slowly bakes for 45 min/an hour - it'll puff up like mad and then start going brown. this is the time to turn the oven off - but leave the meringue in. it needs to dry out for quite a while. i ignored this advice and mine went soggy - but discovered that even if this happens it can be rescued by putting it in an oven on a very low heat for several hours. you're making this pie for after tomorrow's ride, not a quick snack!
the following day, post ride, whip up quick pastry base ( 100g plain flour, rub in about 50g butter with fingers, add small amounts of clod water until it forms a lump) keeping everything as cool as possible and minimal handling. blind bake in a pie dish.
spoon in the cold, set rhubarb custard mix and put your meringue nest on top.
marvel at how quickly two people can eat the weird dessert that you just spent 2 days making.....
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