The rich chocolate crust, yummy rhubarb filling and light meringue topping are perfectly paired together to create this unique and tasty treat. Not a fan of the typical rhubarb pie I bet this dish will make you change your mind about rhubarb. It is heart healthy, gluten free and lighter on the calories. So next time you come across some rhubarb, this is the dish to try.
After a generous mom shared some of her rhubarb with me from her grandmother’s 90 year old plant, I knew I had to come up with something special. I thought how can you go wrong with chocolate? Rhubarb plants are a perennial and can last for years if well taken care of.
Did you know rhubarb is actually a vegetable? Although it is often cooked and used like a fruit. By itself rhubarb has a bright and fruity aroma but is very tart if eaten by itself, which is why it is often used with some kind of sweetener. The leaves are actually poisonous so if you grow your own know that only the stalks are edible.
The crust is made using oats, cocoa powder and walnuts, making for a butter-free and gluten-free crust. Most crusts are high in saturated fats while this one delivers a good dose of the heart healthy poly and monounsaturated fats. A rich chocolate flavor and nuttiness is what makes this dessert so decadent.
Rhubarb is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, calcium and manganese but is also high in oxalates which can prevent some of the calcium from being absorbed. A serving size of this dessert provides: 215 calories, 2.3 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of the heart healthy polyunsaturated fats.
Garish with cocoa powder right before serving. If you add the cocoa powder all at once it may melt. Fresh or frozen rhubarb work great in this dish so if you have an abundance of rhubarb you can always freeze it to make this dessert later in the year when it is harder to find in the stores.
Chocolate Rhubarb Meringue Dessert
Author: Brittany Sparks
Makes: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 min
Total Time: 1 hour and 25 min
1 Cup Walnuts
1 Cup Oats
3 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 Tbsp Walnut or Canola Oil
3 Egg Yolks
¾ Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
½ Cup Fat-Free Milk
3 Cups Rhubarb, Chopped
3 Egg Whites
½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Tbsp Sugar
¼ Tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder for Dusting
Heat oven to 350 Degrees.
In a food processor add the walnuts, oats and cocoa powder. Process until finely ground. Add in the walnut oil 1 Tbsp at a time pulsing in-between.
Spray a 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray and press the crust mixture into the dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large bowl combine the egg yolks, ¾ cup sugar, corn starch and fat-free milk. Mix until well blended. Stir in the rhubarb. Save the egg whites in a medium bowl for the meringue topping.
When the crust is done baking add the rhubarb mixture on top of the crust. Place back in a 350 degree oven and bake for 45 minutes.
To prepare the topping, mix the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add in the vanilla extract and mix. Then add in 1 tablespoon at a time of the sugar and mix until shiny.
Add the egg white mixture on top of the rhubarb filling and spread out evenly with a spatula. Bake for another 12 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly toasted and golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow it to cool.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to chill. Before serving dust the top with cocoa powder. Best served chilled.