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Roast Rhubarb & Strawberry Pavlova with Vanilla Bean Custard

It’s turned out to be a glorious Labour weekend, blue skies, warm temperatures and only the faintest sea breeze, the weather has put on a spectacular show for our overseas families visiting us. One family from the UK and the other from Raro who certainly appreciate not arriving to 10C like we had a few days ago. Perfect for a BBQ, the first of the season where we have been able to sit out all afternoon and not have to shelter from the wind. After a BBQ feast of homemade sausages, leg of garlic & rosemary lamb, salads and asparagus I thought a good Kiwi summer pavlova would be the perfect to end the meal. Surprisingly it is the first pavlova I have ever made, I can’t say I am a huge fan of them so as you can imagine this one was adapted to my own tastes. Instead of the original topping of whipped cream I made a vanilla bean custard to match the poached rhubarb and strawberries.

Ingredients – meringue

  • 6 free range egg whites (keep yolks for custard)
  • 300g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp white vinegar

Method – meringue

  1. Pre-heat oven to 120C and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
  2. Place egg whites in a large bowl and whisk till fluffy
  3. Gradually add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time, whisking in between each addition until firm peaks have formed.
  4. Add vinegar and whisk again.
  5. Spoon all meringue onto the lined tray and form into a round cake shape.
  6. Bake for 1.5 hours.
  7. Once cool remove the greaseproof paper and place on a large plate.

Ingredients Custard

  • 300ml milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 6 egg yolks

Method

  • Place milk and vanilla bean in a saucepan and heat to almost scalding.
  • Heat gently until the milk almost boils, remove from the heat.
  • Whisk the yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Gradually whisk in the warm milk.
  • Return mixture to same saucepan and stir constantly over a low heat until the custard thickens.
  • Pour into a bowl and allow to cool then chill in fridge until ready to serve.

Ingredients – topping

  • 2 chips/punnets of strawberries
  • 300g rhubarb

Method – topping

  1. Wash and cut rhubarb into 1 inch thick pieces.
  2. Place into a heavy bottom pan with sugar, there should be enough water from washing the rhubarb for cooking.
  3. Poach on a very low heat until rhubarb is tender, try not to stir the rhubarb as it will break up. Allow to cool.
  4. Hull, wash and quarter strawberries and add to the cooled rhubarb.

Assembly

  1. Serve all three elements separate and let people build their own or assemble just before serving by pouring the cream onto the pavlova, then adding the fruit. Do not assembly ahead of time as the custard will quickly disintegrate the meringue.
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9 Comments Post a comment
  1. The custard is a brilliant idea – I don’t like whipped cream and my dear Dad can’t eat cream anywhich way. This custard could be made with a lactose free milk which Dad is okay with. (btw – custard is great with Summer Pudding)

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, Michelle

    October 24, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      Yes you could use a lactose free milk, rice milk or coconut milk as a substitute. A coconut milk would be nice with a mix of pineapple and berries perhaps?

      October 28, 2010
  2. i’ve never made a pav either, plan to try one this year, got a good recipe for a rolled one a friend of mine makes …. yum

    October 24, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      That’s next on my list to make too!

      October 30, 2010
  3. Gorgeous dessert! I am so envious that you have all the lovely Spring-y rhubarb now in season!

    October 25, 2010
  4. summersher #

    I’ve been meaning to make a pavlova for awhile now, but can’t seem to find an occasion for it. You’re take on the dessert sounds absolutely wonderful- the vanilla custard is a great idea!

    October 27, 2010
  5. Okay THIS is my favorite evvvver!!!! These look amazing!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

    October 27, 2010
  6. Wow, it’s beautiful!

    October 27, 2010
  7. This is my all time favorite dessert! LOVELY!

    October 28, 2010

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