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Rhubarb and rosewater pavlova

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Rhubarb comes into season in early spring and this unashamedly pretty pudding is the perfect way to show it off. If the familiar green and pink stems haven’t appeared in the shops just yet, you should be able to get your hands on ‘forced’ rhubarb – an earlier, sweeter version of the crop.

Kcal: 315 per serving

Saturated fat: 5.5g per serving

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves 6):

Meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar (or double the weight of the egg whites)
  • 1 tbsp rosewater

Filling:

  • 400g rhubarb stems, cut into 4-5cm lengths
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 tbsps runny honey, plus extra for drizzling
  • 4 tbsps full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1-2 tbsps rosewater

Method

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 100°C (gas mark ¼). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar in three stages until completely combined. Whisk on high for two minutes, pour in the rosewater and whisk for a further minute.

Step 2: Pile the meringue into the baking tray and use a spatula to spread out to a circle about 24cm in diameter. Hollow out the centre a little so the sides stand a couple of centimetres higher. Bake for 2 hours 30 minutes. If it doesn’t lift cleanly off the baking paper, return to the oven for a few minutes. Remove and allow to cool, then transfer to a serving plate.

Step 3: Lay the rhubarb, in a single layer, in a shallow pan. Add a little water then sprinkle over the sugar. Set over a medium heat, cover tightly with a lid or foil, and poach for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Step 4: Whisk the cream with the honey in a large bowl until lightly whipped. Fold through the yoghurt and stir in rosewater to taste. Using a large metal spoon, lightly fold in half the rhubarb and a little of the syrup. Don’t mix too thoroughly: you want to marble the fruit through the cream.

Step 5: Spoon into the centre of the meringue and level out with the flat of a knife. Spread the rest of the rhubarb over the top and trickle over any remaining syrup and a little extra honey.

From A Good Egg by Genevieve Taylor (£15, Eden Project Books)

Eat with …

Wine expert Jane Parkinson recommends the perfect pairing

Producteurs Plaimont Saint Albert Pacherenc du Vic Bilh 2011, £13.95, Corney and Barrow

A pocket of South West France called Madiran makes gorgeous wines from local grapes like Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng. This is a fine sweet example; it’s full of lavender honey and candied lemon flavours, while its freshness cuts through the pavlova’s creaminess.

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