HEAT oven to 425°F. MIX sugar and flour in medium bowl. WHISK in egg yolks, half-and-half and vanilla; beat until blended. GENTLY FOLDin rhubarb and strawberries. POUR into piecrust.
BAKE in center of 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 350°F. CONTINUE baking until almost set, 25 to 30 minutes; center will jiggle slightly.
Immediately make MERINGUE: DISSOLVE cornstarch in cold water in one cup glass measure. MICROWAVE on HIGH 30 seconds; stir. MICROWAVE until mixture boils, 15 to 30 seconds longer. Remove; cover.
BEAT egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until foamy. Beating constantly, ADD sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved before adding the next. Continue beating until whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks. Beating constantly, ADD cornstarch paste, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time. BEAT in vanilla.
Quickly SPREAD meringue evenly over pie filling, starting at edge and sealing to crust all around; swirl with back of spoon. BAKE in upper third of 350°F oven until lightly browned, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool on wire rack 1 hour, then refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving.
Sweet strawberries, tart rhubarb, and creamy custard pair perfectly in this delicious pie!
For neat slices, dip knife into glass of water, letting excess water drip off, before each cut. This prevents the meringue from sticking to knife and tearing it. Be sure to cut completely through the crust.
To check if sugar is dissolved: Rub a bit of meringue between thumb and forefinger. If sugar is dissolved, it will feel completely smooth. If it feels grainy, continue beating.
What’s a soft peak? To check for soft peaks, stop the mixer and lift the beater. The peaks left in the meringue should curl at the tips. If the peaks stand straight and tall (stiff peaks), the meringue has been overbeaten.
Anchor the meringue. Be sure to attach the meringue to the crust all around the edge of the pie. This prevents the meringue from pulling away from the edge during baking.
Beads may form on meringue when refrigerated; gently touch beads with tip of paper towel to absorb.
Excellent Source: Folate and Choline
When is it done? Custard pies should be removed from the oven before the center is completely set. The center will jiggle slightly when dish is gently shaken. Filling will continue to “cook” after it’s removed and center will firm up quickly.
A hot filling is important. The heat of the filling cooks the bottom of the meringue and prevents it from weeping and creating a slippery layer between filling and topping. Set up your equipment and measure meringue ingredients before you make the filling and work quickly to make meringue before filling cools.
Refrigerate any leftover pie promptly.