Rhubarb Meringue Pie

The first step I take when preparing this pie (assuming a pie crust has been made and frozen) is to take the eggs out of the refrigerator and separate them. They're easier to separate when cold.

Then I cover the whites and let them sit at room temperature while I bake the crust and get the other ingredients ready. Room temperature egg whites will be easier to whip into a meringue.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 8



  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups chopped rhubarb stalks (about 1 lb)
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 Tbsp instant tapioca or 2 Tbsp tapioca flour/starch (can sub 2 Tbsp corn starch)


  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (can use vinegar instead of cream of tartar, see method instructions)
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 Pre-bake the pie shell: Heat the oven to 350°F. Line the frozen pie shell with aluminum foil. Fill two-thirds of the way with pie weights (dry beans work well for this).

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven. Lift up the edges of the aluminum foil to remove the foil and pie weights from the crust. Poke the bottom of the crust all over with the tines of a fork.

prick the bottom of the half baked pie crust with the tines of a fork

Return the pie crust to the oven, bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is nicely and lightly browned all over. Remove from oven and set aside.

finish blind baking pie crust for the rhubarb meringue pie

2 Prepare the filling: Gently mix the cut rhubarb, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, and ground ginger in a medium saucepan. Let sit for 15 minutes so the sugar macerates the rhubarb and liquid is released.

Put the pan on the stove on medium heat. Stir in the instant tapioca or tapioca starch. (By the way, if you are using instant tapioca and you don't like seeing anything that might resemble tapioca, just run it through a blender to pulverize it into tapioca flour.)

make the rhubarb filling for the pie

Slowly heat up the rhubarb until steamy. If you heat the rhubarb too quickly, the pieces will disintegrate into mush. The mush will still work in the pie, and taste good, but will look like pink oatmeal. You want to gently cook the rhubarb until it is a little tender, but not yet falling apart.

3 Preheat oven to 325°F.

4 Start making the meringue topping: While the rhubarb is cooking, get started on the meringue. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cream of tartar and set aside.

(Note that the cream of tartar is not absolutely required, but as a dry acid, it will help the meringue keep its structure. If you don't have cream of tartar you can alternatively support the meringue by adding a teaspoon of white vinegar to the egg whites when you start to whip them.)

In a small saucepan, whisk the cornstarch and cold water together until the cornstarch is dissolved. Heat on the stovetop and stir with a whisk until the mixture gets bubbly and forms a gel. Remove from heat.

cook cornstarch mixture to thicken it for rhubarb meringue

5 Beat egg whites, add sugar and cream of tartar mixture, add cornstarch mixture Make sure that the egg whites you are using have absolutely no pieces of egg yolk or shell in them. Make sure that your mixer bowl for whipping the egg whites is spotlessly clean.

Any residual fat from another baking project in the bowl will make it difficult for the egg whites to whip up into a meringue.

Place the egg whites and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Start the speed on low and gradually increase the speed to medium.

Once the egg whites are frothy, slowly add the sugar and cream of tartar mixture, one tablespoon at a time. Beat until the sugar is incorporated an the mixture forms soft peaks.

whip egg whites for rhubarb meringue pie beat egg whites to soft peaks for rhubarb meringue

Then add the cornstarch mixture, one tablespoon at a time. Increase the mixer speed to high, and beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Be careful not to over beat.

6 Fill pie shell with rhubarb filling: The filling needs to be piping hot when the meringue goes on it, so if it has been allowed to cool, reheat it until it is steamy.

Pour the rhubarb mixture into the pre-baked pie shell, spreading it evenly along the bottom of the shell.

pour rhubarb filling into the pre baked pie shell

7 Spread meringue mixture on top of rhubarb filling: Use a rubber spatula and immediately spread the meringue mixture evenly around the edge and then the center of the pie to keep it from sinking into the filling.

spread meringue topping over top of rhubarb filling in pie crust

Make sure the meringue attaches to the pie crust to prevent shrinking. Use the back of a spoon to create peaks all over the meringue.

8 Bake: Bake the pie at 325°F until the meringue is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. The pie can be refrigerated, but it is best served the same day.

rhubarb meringue pie cooked and out of the oven

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  • Lota

    Hello, this looks wonderful. I wonder if I could skip the crust and create a meringue pudding?
    I just don’t like crusts in general. I make cheesecakes with no crusts but a pie? What do you suggest?

    Thanks, Lota

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Lota, sure, why not? Just bake it in a pie dish without the crust. And let us know how the experiment turns out!

  • Phyllis Borkholder

    This comment is for those looking for red rhubarb. There are at least 2 kinds of rhubarb. One has very red stalks and the other kind has green stalks with just a little touch of red. I have both kinds in my garden. The green stalks in my garden have a larger diameter and are usually taller. I haven’t noticed any difference in the taste between the two kinds. They are both wonderful! I’ve been collecting rhubarb recipes for almost 50 years but I don’t recall trying one with orange. This looks really good! I freeze rhubarb in the spring by just cutting it into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces and putting it into bags of 4 cups. Sometimes I need to drain some of the liquid that separates when I thaw the rhubarb, or I add a little more thickener depending on the recipe.

  • Freya

    I made this last night and the filling is unbelievably delicious. the rhubarb with orange and spices is a killer combination. Found the meringue a bit too light to keep up with the strong flavours of th filling, though. If i made this again, I would make a tart and serve it with very thick greek yogurt mixed with more orange zest. Could very well just be a matter of taste though! Great recipe.


  • Karin

    I tried this pie with the fruits I had on hand: rhubarb, plums and apples.
    It was the best meringue pie ever!
    I’ll definitely try this on a lemon pie, on previous ones the meringue kept leeking out.


  • Jeanette

    I’ve only had rhubarb pie once in my life and that was as a child. I remember that it was good, so I decided I want to make it myself now that I’m an adult. My first place to look for delicious recipes is always your site. I have a bunch to choose from that make my mouth water. As I was looking at your recipes and some others online, I noticed that tapioca is in most of them. What is the importance of the tapioca pairing with rhubarb? How do I go about preparing the rhubarb? This vegetable is foreign to me! Thanks in advance!

    We often use instant tapioca as a thickener. It works well to thicken without turning the pie filling gummy. With regards to rhubarb, you want to work with the stalks, not the leaves which are toxic. Just rinse the dirt off the rhubarb stalks and chop as if you were thick slicing celery. ~Elise

  • Andrea

    Elise, I learned SO much from this post! I was actually planning on making a rhubarb meringue pie already but the rhubarb didn’t look good enough in the store– must it be a really deep red to be good enough? Also I feel dumb because I thought I needed just the juice from the rhubarb, as if I were making a lemon pie. Silly me.
    Anyway I made lemon meringue instead (craving tart-sweet) but did not know the trick about adding corn starch to the meringue to reduce “weepiness”. Good to know.
    Funny about the pie baking beans–I have always kept mine in a well marked container for just that reason!
    Great recipe, great post.

    I don’t know about it being deep red, but the rhubarb should be crisp and not limp. ~Elise

  • Maureen Smith

    My husband loves rhubarb, and meringue, and pie. So I made this for him. I cheated and used a refrigerated store crust (I have many failures as a pie crust maker in my past). The oranges looked bad, so I used a tangelo. One tablespoon of the zest was too much for husband. I used egg whites from a carton, as I had them and they needed to be used. My egg whites didn’t ever get to the stiff peak stage, but the meringue tasted pretty good. I’ll be trying this recipe again, but will cut back on the zest and won’t use egg whites from a carton. How about a super-quick dessert recipe to use the four egg yolks?

    Almost all of the ice cream recipes on this site use egg yolks. Most call for 6 but you can get away with 4. There’s also eggnog, zabayon, and you can make the chocolate pudding with egg yolks instead of the egg. ~Elise

  • Carol

    Thanks for this recipe! It’s hard to find rhubarb recipes without other added fruit, which spoils the whole “rhubarb experience!”
    May I share with you and your readers another rhubarb pie recipe. I was given this years ago by the mother of an Estonian friend of mine. So simple…Make a sweet crust (sugar cookie dough) and just “moosh” it in place with your fingers in a French tart pan – wavy vertical sides with a removable bottom. Add chopped rhubarb – no sugar! Top with meringue, making sure the meringue touches the crust all around. Bake. The crust and meringue provide the sweetness and, with the tart rhubarb, create this amazing contrast in your mouth . O-M-G!

  • Janina

    Thank you for this recipe, it looks delicous.
    I’ve always wondered: What do you do with the beans you used for the blind baking? Can you still eat them?

    I am living testament to the fact that you can eat the baking beans and survive. My mother once cooked up the pie beans by mistake. They cooked over an hour in the pressure cooker and she was wondering why they were still so tough! What I do with the baking beans is keep them in a well-marked container that says “PIE BEANS” in big letters to avoid future confusion. Those cooked pie beans were the worst beans I’ve ever eaten. ~Elise

  • Audrey

    Adding the cornstarch mix to the meringue works well and also helps to stop it weeping.