Raspberry Italian Meringue: Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake with Strawberry Meringue

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About


Caramelized Rhubarb Topping

fresh rhubarb, pounds/567 grams 4 cups (cut into cubes) 1 pound 454 grams
light brown Muscovado sugar, or dark brown sugar ½ cup, firmly packed, divided 3.8 ounces 108 grams
fine sea salt a pinch . .
cornstarch 1 tablespoon . 9 grams
lemon zest, finely grated 1 teaspoon, loosely packed . 2 grams
unsalted butter 4 tablespoons (½ stick), divided 2 ounces 57 grams


Make the Rhubarb Topping

Cut the rhubarb into ½ inch cubes. Weigh or measure out the correct amount and place it in a medium bowl. Mix in 2 tablespoons/1 ounce/27 grams of the brown sugar and the salt and let it sit for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Transfer the rhubarb to a colander and strain and reserve the rhubarb syrup that forms. Return the rhubarb to the bowl and toss it with the cornstarch and lemon zest.

In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Use about 1 tablespoon to prepare the pan: Brush a thin coat onto the bottom of the pan, top with a parchment round, and brush with another coat of the melted butter.

Into the remaining butter, stir the remaining brown sugar and the reserved liquid that has drained from the rhubarb. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly with a light-colored silicone spatula. Stop stirring, but leave the spatula in place to judge the color, and simmer for about 3 minutes until bubbling thickly and deep amber in color. (An instant-read thermometer should read 230° to 235°F/110° to 113°C.)

Pour the syrup into the prepared pan, tilting to coat evenly. Strew and press down the rhubarb on top in an even layer. For an appealing mosaic pattern you can arrange the rhubarb by placing it cut edges down.

Continue with the recipe.

Make the Strawberry Meringue

Omit the raspberry preserves. In a small microwavable bowl, or in a saucepan over low heat, heat about tablespoons of strawberry jam and 1 teaspoon of water, stirring constantly. Press it through a strainer into a small bowl. You will need 1 tablespoon of the strained jam.

Make the meringue, adding the 1 tablespoon of strawberry jam in place of the raspberry preserves.