These Individual Rhubarb Meringue Dessert have a shortbread crust, a rhubarb custard filling and a generous topping of fluffy meringue. A classic way to enjoy Spring rhubarb!
Chances are you may have run in to this dessert before. It's been the queen of pot lucks, BBQ's and church dinners for some time, I think. But every Spring, it's the first thing I make when I get my hands on some fresh rhubarb, because it's just darned delicious :)
While it's often made in 9x9 or 9x13-inch pan form and served up in squares, I thought it would be nice to try it individual-style this time. Everything is better in mini, personal form, right? (Of course, feel free to bake it as a single 9x9-inch if you like.)
I also upped the meringue just a bit ... just because. And while the recipe calls for heavy cream, note that you can substitute an equal amount of full-fat evaporated milk, if you don't have cream. (Wouldn't suggest a low-fat one).
Cook's Notes for Rhubarb Meringue Dessert
These can be made ahead, particularly up to the baking the filling part. Once you bake the meringue, the clock does start ticking a bit. You can do that part closer to serving, to keep it freshest. That said, even with the meringue, I found they kept quite well at room temperature for several hours. You may get a bit of weeping on the meringue, but nothing fatal. You can also refrigerate, uncovered for the better part of the day. This will help to keep the weeping in check.
I enjoy these slightly warm or at room temperature. If you've refrigerated, remove from the fridge ahead, so they have a chance to come to room temperature.
Individual Rhubarb Meringue Cakes
For the Base:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter (cold, cut in to cubes)
For the Filling:
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (could substitute full-fat evaporated milk)
- 3 cups rhubarb (smaller dice for individual servings, diced)
For the Meringue:
- 4 egg whites (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- Preheat your oven to 345° F. and place ramekins on a baking sheet to catch any drips.
- For the base: Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and using a pastry cutter, two knives or a fork, cut the butter in to the flour and sugar until it's a coarse meal. Press in to ramekins (or a 9x9-inch pan). Bake for 15-20 minutes at 325° F. or until set.
- Remove from oven and raise oven temperature to 350° F. Allow base to cool 5 minutes or so.
- For the filling: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon over cooked base. (*Note, filling doesn't rise much during baking. It's more a case of setting. You can fill your ramekin near the top, allowing a little rising room). Bake in 350° oven for 30 minutes (for individual ramekins) to 40 minutes (for 9x9-inch pan), or until set.
- For the meringue: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spoon over hot filling. Bake in 350° F. oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.