This photo is a reject from a shoot for a wholesale food website in Poland, I was happy with the recipe so I thought I would share. Pavlova is such a dated dessert that is always associated with Kiwi fruit and strawberries but given a Middle Eastern touch and a tart fruit, it was surprisingly good. It might make a good substitute for Christmas pudding as it looks so spiffingly festive. If you do think ‘gosh that is a good idea’, buy rhubarb now, cook it and freeze it because I think it is the end of the season.
The product the website, Lamonde foods, is promoting is vanilla syrup which is available at fine foods stores, I sell a New Zealand brand called Heilala at Jaggers. It works really well with both the rhubarb and the strawberries.
Rhubarb and Strawberry Pavlova with Rose petals and Vanilla syrup.
1 1/2 tsp cornflower
1 tsp rose water
5 egg whites or 150g
220g caster sugar
6 stalks rhubarb, sliced into 2cm slices
1/4 cup vanilla syrup
300 ml pouring cream
1/2 tbsp caster sugar
1 punnet strawberries
1 tbsp vanilla syrup
dried rose petals (optional)
Preheat oven to 160 C. Mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon of cold water and the rose water. In a food mixer beat the egg whites until thickened then add the caster sugar slowly until incorporated. Add the cornflour mixture and keep beating for 6 minutes at medium-high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy. Line a rectangular baking dish with grease proof paper and a little vegetable oil and smooth in the meringue. Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly golden on the top then turn off the oven and allow to cool with the door ajar.
Put the rhubarb, the 1/4 cup of vanilla syrup and 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan and simmer until very tender, about 6 minutes. Whip the cream and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar until stiff peaks form. Quarter the strawberries and mix with the tablespoon of vanilla syrup.
Once the pavlova is cool, if serving in individual portions, top with the cream and cut into eight squares. Top each piece with the rhubarb, some of the rhubarb syrup and some strawberries. Sprinkle with the rose petals if using and serve. Alternatively bake the pavlova in a round shape, top with the cream, rhubarb and strawberries, sprinkle with rose petals and serve whole.