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    Pistachio Meringue with Rhubarb and Blood Orange

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    Pistachio Meringue with Rhubarb and Blood Orange

    This is one of chef Sally Clarke's favourite recipes. She makes seasonal variations of it all year round at her London restaurant, Clarke's. The constant is a delicate, soft meringue as a base, with the addition of rhubarb and blood oranges in spring (if you can't find blood oranges, ordinary ones are fine), red berries in summer, damsons in autumn and candied chestnuts and prunes in winter.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes, plus cooling
    • Total time: 1 hour, plus cooling 60 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • 3 medium egg whites
    • 240g caster sugar
    • 2 tsp cornflour
    • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 50g shelled unsalted pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
    • 200g forced rhubarb (approximately 3 stems)
    • 75ml orange or blood orange juice
    • 75ml sweet white wine, such as Beaumes-de-Venise
    • 284ml carton double cream, softly whipped
    • 3 blood oranges, peeled, pith removed and cut into segments
    • 6 sprigs of mint

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 140°C, gas mark 1 and line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
    2. In a clean, dry bowl whisk the eggs whites until stiff, then add 190g of the sugar gradually, whisking continually, until the meringue becomes thick and glossy. Whisk in the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract then fold in the pistachio nuts.
    3. Scoop the meringue into 6 equal-sized mounds on the baking sheet, leaving a small space between each one as they will puff a little during cooking. Flatten them slightly so they will be able to hold their filling. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until crisp on the outside but not coloured. The interior should be soft and marshmallow-like. Leave to cool completely.
    4. Meanwhile, prepare the rhubarb. Cut it into lengths of 4-5cm and place these in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar, the orange juice and wine, cover with aluminium foil and bake in the same oven as the meringue for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool. Choose and reserve the 12 most attractive pieces of rhubarb and push the remaining pieces through a plastic sieve with all the cooking juices to form a sauce. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
    5. To assemble, place the meringues on 6 plates, top each one with a spoonful of whipped cream and arrange the orange segments and reserved rhubarb pieces on top. Drizzle over the rhubarb sauce, add the mint sprigs and serve immediately.

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