sweet & tart: bavarian rhubarb pie


it’s the season now! it’s the time of bright fresh green in the yard, of vibrant florals dotting the flower garden, and of delicate little spikes working themselves upwards to the sun through the dark and moist soil in the vegetable patch. stubbornly bavarian in heart and mind, at times striving for independence against all odds, i am still triyng to grow the greens, legumes, and berries of my native home, more or less successfully in virginia, since it is for some much to hot and humid here in the summer. peas, radishes, gooseberries and red currants, even the rhubarb i favor so much, seem to prefer cooler temperatures and chilly nights under cloudy skies. one might want to debate the advantage of having summer days from may till beginning of october over the cool, short bavarian summer, but when it comes to the garden fruits this enternally springlike climate produces, it definitely wins over the alternative. at least until virginia summer abundance kicks in!

for now, i am still in alpine spring mode, with crisp red radish bites and sweet-tart coffee hour treats. for the purpose of making me feel more at home, he who had never tasted rhubarb before we met, lest would even have recognized it if he had come across it, brought home some beautiful, delightfully dark red stalks from the local farmers market. such are the romantic couple’s moments in a home full of teenage dramas and sock-littered floors!

while patiently waiting for the newly acquired plant to produce fine scented stalks in the backyard in springs to come, it seems the farm grown rhubarb was this year’s one and only chance for the uniquly delicious spring treat, plus a great opportunity to finally note down the original german version of the recipe in the english translation.


ingredients for a 9″x 13″ (33 x 23 cm) baking sheet of rhubarb tarte

125 g flour
100 g chilled butter, in cubes,
25 g fine cane sugar
pich of salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 egg yolks

fruit topping:
300 g rhubarb, skinned and cut 1/2 inch pieces
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
100 g red berry preserve

2 egg whites
100 g fine sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F / 180°C and cover baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Add butter in cubes. With your fingertips, quickly work butter into dry ingredients until small crumbs form. with a wooden spoon work in egg yolks until smooth dough forms. Finish with a few quick turns bey hand. Pad dough into a 1 inch disk, wrap with wax paper and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out chilled dough onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With your fingers form a small rim on the edges. With a fork poke several wholes into the dough and bake for 20 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes to let cool down.

Mix rhubarb cubes with 50 g of berry preserve, add flour and cinnamon. With the wisk attachemnt of a stand mixer or a hand mixer beat egg whites at medieum speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar and keep whisking on high speed until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is shiny.

With a spoon, spread 50 g of berry preserve on the dough, then add the rhubarb on top. Using a rubber spatula, cover rhubarb with meringue, gently forming peaks and valleys as you go along.

Bake for another 20 minutes until meringue peaks start to trun golden brown. Reduce heat to 140°F/60°C, crack oven door open with a wooden spoon, and dry out meringue for another 15 minutes.

Serve while still warm and the meringue still crunchy. To keep, cover loosely with a dish cloth and store for another day at room temperature. Don’t be surprised when the base and the meringue might get a little soft. This will make for a very juicy, deliciously tart pastry delight! On very hot summer days refrigeration might be advisable.







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