A little sweet and a little tart, this coconut rhubarb tart is the perfect combination of flavors and soft and crunchy textures.
Mention rhubarb and meringue in the same sentence and you just know it’s gonna be good! After all, who doesn’t love the contrast between tart and sweet?!
It’s rhubarb season here in New Zealand and I’m making the most of it. You might remember the Rhubarb Creams I made a few weeks ago. This time, the rhubarb has been roasted and made into a curd, piled into a coconut crust and topped with a billowing cloud of coconut-ty meringue.
Coconut Rhubarb TartSusan Knapp
For the filling:
- 700 g 24.6 oz trimmed rhubarb, cut into 3cm pieces
- 160 g 5.6 oz golden caster sugar (superfine), plus 1 tbsp extra to taste
- Grated zest and juice of an orange
- 4 tbsp cornflour cornstarch
- 4 large free-range egg yolks you'll use the whites in the meringue
- 50 g 1.7 oz unsalted butter, melted
For the coconut pastry:
- Click the link above for the recipe.
For the coconut meringue:
- 3 large free-range egg whites or 4 smaller egg whites
- 175 g 6.1 oz caster sugar
- 40 g 1.4 oz desiccated coconut
For the filling: (Can make the day ahead)
- Mix the rhubarb with 70g (2.4 oz) of the sugar, and the orange zest and juice. Scatter in a roasting tray and roast for 20 minutes until soft.
- 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 (this activates the cornflour), 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.
For the coconut pastry: (Can make the day ahead)
- Put the coconut into a food processor with 1 tbsp of the flour. 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 (or a pastry cutter), 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, then chill for 20 minutes (or if making ahead store in fridge).
To assemble tart: (Can be done the day ahead)
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Take the pastry out of the fridge. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface - the dough is a bit tricky to work with and easily sticks to the rolling pin - either ensure your rolling pin is lightly floured, or lay a piece of baking paper over top of the dough and then roll it out. Use the pastry to line a 20cm x 3.5cm (8 inch x 1.3 inch) fluted loose-bottomed tart tin.** If the pastry cracks or tears, simply patch it up using extra bits of dough. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge. (NB: I allowed the dough to drape over the sides of the tin and baked it that way. Once fully baked, and while still warm, I trimmed the edges with a sharp paring knife).
- 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.
- Turn the oven down to 190°C (375°F).
- Pour the rhubarb curd into the pastry case and bake for 30 minutes until set. Cool completely, then chill***.
For the meringue topping: (Do on the day of serving)
- Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Bring the chilled tart out of the fridge and bring to room temperature.
- 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.
**I found that this size tin too small to hold the filling. If it is a 20cm (8 inch) tin, I think it should have higher sides. As I didn't have a deep sided tin, I used a 23cm (9 inch) tin instead.
***You can chill the pie minus the meringue overnight - simply cover lightly with plastic wrap.
I'm Susan - food lover from the best little country in the world - New Zealand. I'm an 'accidental' cook who fell into it, hook, line and sinker when I turned the big 5-0. Not exactly sure why it happened; perhaps some previously defunct piece of DNA came good. Anyhow, I'm making up for lost time and spending countless hours in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Desserts are my Archilles heel, followed closely by good old-fashioned baking - it's good for the soul; not so much for the waistline!