Rhubarb, Raspberry and Rose Pavlova
I am just loving Rhubarb at the moment! I can't describe to you how yummy these pavlovas are.. you just have to make them! The meringue is lightly flavoured with rose water, filled with softly whipped cream, topped with roasted rhubarb, raspberries and a raspberry coulis. Then scatterings of chopped pistachios. Such a great combination!
For this recipe, I've used the french meringue method to make the pavlovas. I've added vinegar to the recipe which may seem odd at first but it helps to stabilise the meringue and helps to stiffen the mixture so that it doesn't deflate. This will make sure to keep the meringue lovely and fluffy, If you don't have meringue, you can easily substitute with lemon juice or 1 tsp. Cream of Tartar. This also helps to keep the meringue lovely and white!
Here are a few tips when making French Meringue:
Make sure the bowl you are using is super clean! No grease at all, otherwise your egg white will not whip up.
Make sure your egg whites are whipped and fluffy before you add the sugar, this will ensure you have a stiff and stable meringue.
If you can, use a free standing mixer or an electric whisk. You won't get the volume from the meringue otherwise!
Keep the temperature of the oven as low as you can, if it is too high, the meringue will start to crack and will brown.
When shaping the pavlovas, make sure you leave a little hole in the middle so that you can fill it with cream and the fruit! Also, it will mean that the inside will cook quicker as there is less meringue which is a bonus.
Makes 8 Pavlovas
For the meringue nests:
180g Egg White
360g Caster Sugar
1 tsp. White wine vinegar
1/2tsp. Rose Water
For the Topping:
300ml Double Cream
2-3 stalks Rhubarb with 2-3 tbsp. Caster Sugar
Chopped Pistachios for garnish
Firstly we need to make the meringue. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees celsius (fan) You will need a free standing mixer with the whisk attachment or an electric whisk. Place the egg whites and vinegar into a clean bowl. Whisk until stiff peaks have formed and it is fluffy. 1 tsp. at a time, slowly add the caster sugar until it has all been incorporated. Continue to whisk until the meringue is stiff and glossy. You should be able to achieve peaks when you remove the whisk from the bowl.
When you are at this point, add the rose water and continue to whisk for another minute or so.
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. You can either use a piping bag or a large spoon (I prefer a spoon!). Dollop 8 large spoonfuls, 4 on each tray, onto the baking trays. Using a spoon or knife to swirl into a pretty shape.
Once you've got your desired shape, place into the preheated oven, once they are in, reduce the oven temperature to 110 degrees celsius. Bake for 90 minutes. Once they are done, leave to cool completely in the oven.
Once the meringues are ready, now you can prepare the toppings! Chop the stalks of rhubarb into 6cm long chunks and slice in half. Place onto a baking tray lined with paper, sprinkle 2 tbsp. Caster sugar and 1 tbsp. Water. Place in the oven at 175 degrees celsius for 15 minutes until soft.
Place the cream into a bowl, and whisk until you get soft peaks. Spoon a dollop of cream onto each pavlova.
Top the pavlovas with the rhubarb, fresh raspberries and a sprinkling of chopped pistachios. You can drizzle with raspberry puree or crushed raspberries to add a small coulis to serve.
They are best eaten on the day they are made, but will last up to two days in the fridge.