Rhubarb and blood-orange meringue
Saturday 14 February 2009
This sexy pudding should get your juices flowing. If you don't have time to make your own, try meringues from Ottolenghi (ottolenghi.co.uk), which are mottled with raspberry purée for great visual effect.
100g caster sugar
tsp cornflour or arrowroot
1 blood orange, segmented, juice reserved
For the meringue
2 egg whites
70g caster sugar
tsp white wine vinegar
2-3tbsp crème fraîche
For the meringue, pre-heat the oven to 120C/gas mark 1. Clean the mixing bowl and whisk in boiling water, then dry with kitchen paper to remove any traces of grease, as this will affect the stiffness of the egg whites once whisked.
In a mixing machine with a whisk attachment or by hand (although this will take quite a while), whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add the caster sugar and continue whisking until the egg whites are really stiff and shiny. Add the cornflour and vinegar and whisk again for about 45 seconds. Spoon the mixture on to a clean baking tray, lined with silicone or greaseproof paper, into one round dome.
For a spiky meringue, create peaks round the edge with the spoon if you like.
Cook in the oven for 1-2 hours or until the meringue is crisp on the outside and soft in the very middle, but don't allow the outside to colour – you want it white.
You may need to cook it a little longer, depending on your oven; remove and leave to cool.
Cut the rhubarb into 2cm lengths and place in a thick-bottomed pan with the sugar. Cook on a low heat with a lid on for about 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the rhubarb is just tender.
Carefully drain in a sieve over a bowl to catch the juices. Pour the juice into a saucepan and add any juice from the blood orange.
Bring to a simmer, then dilute the cornflour with a little water and stir enough into the syrup to slightly thicken it and simmer for a minute or so. Leave to cool a little, then mix the rhubarb and blood-orange segments and stir in the syrup.
To serve, cut the top off the meringue, crush it up a bit and fold into the crème fraiche. Spoon the crème fraiche into the meringue and spoon the rhubarb mixture over.
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