I’m starting this year’s rhubarb season with my pretty, little rhubarb meringue tartelettes. Made with small, tender pastry shells. Filled with a sweet and sour rhubarb cream, to which I’ve added a little bit of lemon. Topped by my airy meringue. Sweet and vegan, made from aquafaba.
Ingredients for 8 rhubarb meringue tartelettes:
250 g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla exract
3 tbsp sugar
1.5 tbsp gram flour (garbanzo flour, chick pea flour), mixed with 4 tbsp water
75 ml soy milk
50 g vegan butter
A bit of vegan butter or oil for the baking pans
3 stalks of rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 package of silken tofu (about 350 g)
1/2 lemon, the juice
1 tbsp grated lemon zest (organic)
6 tbsp corn starch or potato starch
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup aquafaba
1/4 tsp guar flour (guar gum)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
For the dough, mix the flour, baking powder, vanilla extract and sugar.
Melt the vegan butter in a small pot. Take it off the stove and mix it with the soy milk and gram flour. Add the liquid to the flour and knead it with your hands, until you’ve got a firm dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190 °C (370°F) top and bottom heat.
Roll out the dough a few millimetres thick. Fill 8 oiled tartelette pans with it. Bake those in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
Cut off the green leafs from the rhubarb. Do not peel the rhubarb, that’s important for the colour. Cut the stalks into small pieces.
Put the pieces in a pot and fill it up with water, until the rhubarb is just covered. Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar and simmer for 5 minutes.
Use a blender to mix it and put the liquid into a fine mesh sieve. Collect the juice.
Mix the juice with all other ingredients for the filling with the blender. Heat the mix up in a deep pan. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens. It should be a gel-like pudding.
Fill the filling into the pre-baked dough molds and put them in the fridge for 2 hours.
Bring the Aquafaba to a boil and simmer until it is reduced to about 2/3. Allow to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 90 °C (190°F) top and bottom heat.
Place the aquafaba in a deep metal or glass bowl (no plastic) and whip it with a mixer at the highest speed for 10 minutes until a firm ‘egg whisk’ has formed. Mix it for the full 10 minutes, even if it seems firm earlier.
Gradually add the icing sugar, mix once more for about 5 minutes. Add the cream of tartar and guar gum and mix again for 2-3 minutes.
Use a piping bag to place the meringue on the tartelettes. I added some pink, vegan food colouring.
Bake the tartelettes in the oven for 45 minutes. The meringue is still soft and creamy after this amount of time. If you prefer a more crisp version, add another 15-30 minutes in the oven. To achieve a slightly brownish crust on the meringue, flambé them briefly with a gas burner. This caramelizes them. But beware: the meringue can burn very quickly.
Allow to cool completely. Do not cover the tartelettes, otherwise the meringue gets too moist. The best way to store the tartelettes for up to 1-2 days is outside the refrigerator without a lid. The room temperature should not be too warm.