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Roasted rhubarb pavlova
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For the topping
250g forced rhubarb
50g caster sugar
400ml double cream
10g pistachio kernels, finely chopped
For the meringue
300g caster sugar
150ml egg whites (approx 5 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs)
50g pistachio kernels, finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. To make the topping, chop the trimmed rhubarb into thumb-sized pieces and place into a small roasting tin. Toss with the sugar, cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and carefully stir any undissolved sugar into the deep pink juices. Return to the oven, uncovered, for a further 5 minutes. Pour the syrup into a small jug and allow the rhubarb to cool completely.
2. To make the meringue, line 2-3 large baking trays with baking parchment. Pour the sugar onto one of the trays and spread out into an even layer. Place in the oven (still at 200°C, gas mark 6) for 5-6 minutes, or until it feels hot to the touch and the very edges of the sugar layer are just starting to melt.
3. Meanwhile, put the egg whites into a large bowl. Whisk them using an electric whisk until they resemble stiff peaks. When the meringue is ready, you should be able to tip the bowl upside down without anything falling out.
4. Carefully whisk the hot sugar, a spoonful at a time, into the egg whites, letting each spoonful fully mix in before adding the next. Avoid adding any of the melted sugar around the edges – this will not dissolve properly in the meringue.
5. When all the sugar has been added whisk vigorously for 8-10 minutes, or until the mixture is really thick and glossy. If you rub a small amount between your fingers, you shouldn’t be able to feel any grains of sugar. If it is still gritty, continue to whisk until it feels smooth.
6. Turn the oven down to 100°C, gas mark ¼. Spread the meringue into three 18cm discs on the lined baking trays. Scatter each disc with chopped pistachios, then bake for 1½-1¾ hours, or until the meringue is crisp and lifts away from the paper easily. Turn the oven off and allow the meringues to cool completely in the oven.
7. Whip the cream to soft peaks. When the meringues are cool stack them up with a layer of cream between each. Top with the remaining cream, pile on the rhubarb pieces and scatter with chopped pistachios. Just before serving, drizzle the top with the reserved rhubarb syrup.
If you want to prepare this dessert ahead of time, you can make the meringues up to three days before serving and store in an airtight container. Once assembled, the pavlova is best eaten immediately.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in February 2020.