Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rhubarb Compote & Rhubarb Pavlova With Pistachio Nuts

Spring is in the air, Rhubarb is in the garden...

The is no surer sign that spring has arrived than seeing the beautiful pink rhubarb stalks ripen underneath their canopy of enormous leaves. Spring has arrived a little earlier than usual this year- this is due to the mild winter I suppose. Rhubarb features on my breakfast menu from now until it fades out of season. Did you know how easy it is to grow? Because rhubarb is so hardy it will survive almost total neglect. Once the plant has some mulsh in winter along with a little straw or newspaper to protect against frost it will flourish beautifully - no garden should be without its own clump. The following recipe is for rhubarb compote, this is a great template for many dishes. It is important that you use the younger rhubarb stems as the season moves along the rhubarb gets thicker and coarser.

Rhubarb Compote
  • 300g Rhubarb cut into 4cm pieces
  • 100g Castor sugar
  • 100ml Water
  • A dash of rosewater
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of arrowroot (or corn flour)
  • The tiniest drop of pink/red food colouring - if desired
  1. Start off by making syrup, simmering the sugar and water together until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rosewater and rhubarb simmer the rhubarb for 3 minutes then turn off the heat, allowing the rhubarb to cook in the cooling liquid.
  2. When the liquid has gone cold, remove the rhubarb with a slotted spoon, then simmer the syrup, dissolve the arrowroot in a little cold water and add to the syrup to thicken - simmer for a minute or two and remove from the heat and allow to cool- at this stage you can add the tiniest drop of pink or red food colour - be very careful with this - less is always better.
  3. Return the rhubarb to the syrup.
This compote can be used spooned over yoghurt for breakfast, or on desserts and cakes, it will last up to 5 days in the fridge.

Rhubarb Pavlova

  • 4 Egg whites
  • 200g Castor sugar
  • 1tsp flower
  • 1 tsp White wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Rose water
  • 2tbsp Shelled pistachio nuts chopped
  • 225 mls cream softly whipped.
  • Rhubarb compote
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C
  2. To make the pavlova, whisk the egg whites and sugar together until glossy and stiff.
  3. Whisk in the corn flour vinegar and rose water. 
  4. Line a large roasting tin with some grease proof paper and pile the meringue mixture and form into a 9 inch round circle.
  5. Turn the oven down to 120˚C. Put the pavlova into the oven and bake for 1 ½ hours. Allow the pavlova to cool in the oven. This stops it cracking.
  6. To serve, pile the cream onto the top of the pavlova, and then spoon the rhubarb compote on top, sprinkle with pistachio nuts.

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