Pic of Rhubarb and custard Pavlova

Rhubarb and custard Pavlova

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Rhubarb and custard Pavlova

Pudding & Cake Serves 4 1h 50 min
Rhubarb and custard are a classic combination which taste even better piled atop a feather-light meringue. If you don't have the time or courage to make a Pavlova base, use broken bought meringues and mix them with the whipped cream, poached rhubarb and custard to make a rhubarb Eton Mess. This recipe also works beautifully with fresh raspberries and strawberries.

Ingredients

for the meringue

  • 5 egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 3 drops of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder

for the rhubarb

  • 500g rhubarb
  • 100g brown sugar
  • juice of ½ orange

for the custard

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1-2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 400ml double cream
  • 200ml milk
  • seeds from vanilla pod (or ½ tsp vanilla extract)
  • 200ml whipped cream

Method

Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 1h 30 min

main

  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 120°C/Gas ½.

First make the meringue

  • Step 1

    With an electric beater, whisk the egg whites until just stiff, then gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Step 2

    Fold in the vinegar, cornflour and cocoa, until the cocoa is mixed through the egg white. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Shape the meringue into 2 circles on the parchment, each about 25cm in diameter and 2cm deep.
  • Step 3

    Place in the oven and leave for 1½ hours, until the meringue is firm to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue in it for 30 minutes.

For the rhubarb

  • Step 1

    Chop some rhubarb into batons and cook gently in a little brown sugar and orange juice until tender but still holding its shape.

Make the custard

  • Step 1

    Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl with cornflour and sugar. Bring the cream and milk to boiling point in a pan with the vanilla, then whisk gradually into the egg mixture.
  • Step 2

    Pour back into the pan and cook, stirring constantly, over a low heat for about 5 minutes, until thickened.
  • Step 3

    Fill the Pavlova with whipped cream and custard and cover with the poached rhubarb.