Rhubarb Pavlova

I was trying to think of something new to do with the crop of rhubarb in the garden, when I came across the idea of putting a rhubarb compote on a pavlova.  This is partly due to my Mum baking a Strawberry and Raspberry Pavlova for dessert on Easter Sunday, and also partly thanks to James Perry, one of the finalists on Masterchef 2011, who recently posted on his Facebook page about a Rhubarb Fool he had made.

The sharpness of the in season rhubarb cuts through the richness of the whipped cream and sweetness of the meringue quite nicely.  The meringue is also marshmallowy in texture inside, which contrasts nicely with the crispness of the crust.

Meringue

  • 3 Egg Whites (or 110g of Liquid Egg White)
  • 175g Caster Sugar
  • 1tsp Cornflour
  • 1tsp Vinegar (I use Distilled Malt Vinegar for this)
  • 1/2tsp Vanilla Extract

300ml Double Cream

Rhubarb Compote

  • 250g Rhubarb
  • Caster or Granulated Sugar to taste (approx 2-3 tablespoons)
  • Water

I’ve recently come across Two Chicks liquid egg white – basically just a carton of stabilised egg whites which you keep in the fridge. Much easier than separating the eggs out and wondering what to do with the leftover yolks!

Place the egg whites into a large bowl or mixer and whisk until stiff.

Take your Caster Sugar……

… and add it a spoon at a time, whisking until it is incorporated before adding the next spoon of sugar, until it is stiff and glossy.

Add the Cornflour, Vanilla and Vinegar.

Fold in gently with a spatula or large metal spoon.

Put the meringue mix in about a 24 cm circle onto a silicon sheet or non-stick baking parchment on a baking tray.

Bake in a low 130degree oven for 1 hour, turning the tray after 45 minutes so that the meringue cooks evenly. The meringue should be a pale golden brown colour and may have cracked slightly – don’t worry about the cracks though!

As you can see, the meringue is crisp but still slightly soft in the centre.

At this point, I have to apologise. I forgot to take photos of the rhubarb compote.  I will add photos of this step next time I make it though!

Cut the rhubarb into inch long chunks, and place into a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of sugar, and about 125ml water.

Simmer until the rhubarb is soft, and the water has turned into a rose pink syrup, adding more sugar to taste.

Allow the rhubarb to cool completely.

Once the meringue has completely cooled, gently place it onto a serving plate or stand. This one was a Christmas present from my brother and sister-in-law, and came from John Lewis. As previously mentioned – do not worry if the meringue cracks!  Assembly of the Pavlova should take place as close as possible to when you want to serve it, as the meringue will become less crisp after prolonged contact with the cream and rhubarb.

Softly whip the cream.

Gently spoon the cream on to the top of the meringue, and spread out.  This is going to cover most of the cracks!

Spoon the rhubarb on top of the cream and drizzle on the syrup.

Serve as soon after you have made the pavlova as you can.  Even my sometimes fussy 3 year old loved it!

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