Today we are sharing a fun version of a traditional family recipe that we have been making for years! This recipe comes from Kryz's Babcia Lilka (Grandma) who would make this Polish coffee cake on Sunday afternoons in early summer. Over the years we have adapted the recipe to make it easier and this year we had the idea to decorate it like an American Flag for the 4th of July!
Every year we spend the 4th of July in my hometown in Central Illinois. We are serving this Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Cake for a family gathering tonight! The cake truly represents our family - both Polish and American!
Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Cake
Begin by preparing the fruit. Chop the rhubarb and 3/4 of the strawberries into small pieces. Mix with the brown sugar and let sit while prepping the dough. Slice the remainder of the strawberries into quarts and set aside for decoration. Wash the blueberries and set aside for later.
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a medium shallow cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl cut butter into flour with a pastry blender, fork or grater until it has an even texture. Add sugar and baking powder and continue mixing. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, sour cream and half & half and mix until smooth. Pour into dry mixture and stir. This is a dry dough so kneading with hands will be necessary to finish combining the ingredients and create the even texture. Press the dough into a rectangle on the cookie sheet until it is even thickness, about 3/4-1" thick.
Drain any liquid from the strawberry rhubarb mixture and then spread it evenly across the top of the dough. Make sure you get the mixture as close to the edge as possible. Press the fruit into the dough. Place the cake in the oven for 20 minutes.
While the cake is baking, prepare the meringue. Beat egg whites and dash of salt in a mixer with a whisk attachment. Gradually add the sugar while the mixture is beating, until the meringue forms stiff peaks.
Remove the cake from the oven after 20 minutes and spread the meringue on top. Increase the oven temperature to 375 and place the cake back in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the meringue just starts to brown. Remove the cake and press the blueberries and strawberries into a flag shape on top of the meringue. Return to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Let the cake cool to room temperature before cutting and serving. Cut it into small squares, should feed 12-16 people! Enjoy!