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
- Pre-heat oven to 120C and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
- Place egg whites in a large bowl and whisk till fluffy
- Gradually add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time, whisking in between each addition until firm peaks have formed.
- Add vinegar and whisk again.
- Spoon all meringue onto the lined tray and form into a round cake shape.
- Bake for 1.5 hours.
- Once cool remove the greaseproof paper and place on a large plate.
- 300ml milk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
- 6 egg yolks
- 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
- Wash and cut rhubarb into 1 inch thick pieces.
- Place into a heavy bottom pan with sugar, there should be enough water from washing the rhubarb for cooking.
- Poach on a very low heat until rhubarb is tender, try not to stir the rhubarb as it will break up. Allow to cool.
- Hull, wash and quarter strawberries and add to the cooled rhubarb.
- 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.