Browsing the pages of Stylist, I chanced upon their ‘Bake the Cover’ competition and decided I’d give it a bash. The brief was ‘things that make you happy’ so with my apron and thinking cap on came up with a Mr.Whippy inspired meringue pie. Nothing sends me down memory lane more than the sound of the ice cream van blaring it’s tune, (I heard a story recently from a friend who’s Dad had them believing for years that if the ice cream van was playing its tune, it meant they had run out of ice cream. Hilarious) although these days I’m less inclined to rush out for one and more irritated by the noise. Bah humbug.
I decided on rhubarb for the curd as a recent visit to my parents in Yorkshire had seen me return with a glut of the unmistakeable pinky stems, freshly picked from my Dad’s patch. One vat of rhubarb curd later I set about making a suitable pastry cone. Wanting to use shortcrust pastry as you would an authentic meringue pie, I needed a way to bake the dough around a large cone shape. In the end I popped up to Ruby Violet in Tufnell Park and purchased a few large ice cream cones. I then wrapped them in baking paper and with the pastry as thin as I dare, wrapped it round the cone, scored diamond shapes to add some texture and sat it top down on a baking tray. Amazingly it worked, there were a few attempts getting the pastry thin enough that it wouldn’t collapse but once egg-washed and baked it was surprisingly sturdy.
With a photographer friend and his girlfriend roped in who was thankfully willing to endure me pritt-sticking hundreds and thousands to her nails for what seemed like hours (and got EVERYWHERE. I know know how my mum felt all those years) we set about shooting. I whipped up a batch of Italian meringue and prepared a piping bag filled with half pink, half white. The cone was fed some rhubarb curd and the pastel pink striped meringue piped on top, Mr.Whippy-esque. Voila!