Dudes of this prodigious planet called earth, I have rhubarb for you! Rhubarb mixed with raspberries on top of meringues… with cream… and pistachio crumble. Basically, this is like a deconstructed rhubarb pie. I know — your head just exploded! This uber popular herbaceous perennial is bringing its magic to this recipe in full throttle. To be honest, I rarely use rhubarb, but after trying it in this combo, I am hooked! Before we start, I’m not gonna lie, meringues, are SO temperamental but be patient and your efforts will be rewarded with the taste of sweet pillow-y goodness. Let’s do this!
Ingredients: (Serves 6 – 8) *For the meringues:
– 2 tablespoons corn starch
– 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
– 6 large egg whites at room temperature – Pinch of cream of tartar
– 1 cup super fine (or extra fine) sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*For the rhubarb and raspberries:
– 2 large rhubarb stalks, washed, trimmed, and sliced – 1 cup fresh raspberries
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– Pinch of ground cardamon (optional)
– 1 cup water
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
*For the crumble:
– 1/2 cup spelt flour (if you can eat wheat, go ahead and use regular flour) – 1/3 cup rolled oats
– 5 tablespoons cold butter
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– 1/3 roughly ground pistachios (chunky is good!)
– Pinch of salt
– Whipped cream or coconut cream
Instructions: PREHEAT OVEN AT 350°F MAKE THE MERINGUES:
1 Dissolve the vinegar and corn starch in a small container until there are no lumps. Beat egg whites in a clean bowl, add the pinch of cream of tartar and continue to beat until you reach soft peaks. Add a bit of the starch and vinegar mix, and a few spoonfuls of sugar. Alternate between those two until you finish the sugar and the whites are stiff and glossy (I suggest beating slowly when incorporating the sugar so you don’t collapse them). Give one last swirl to incorporate the vanilla.
2 Spoon glossy whites onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and using the same spoon, try to make some space in the centre (like a nest). Place trays in the oven and immediately turn down the temp to 200F. Bake for about an hour, rotating trays every 10 minutes. Once they’re hard enough on the outside, turn off the oven and let them sit in there as the oven cools down. Remove when ready.
3 Place rhubarb, raspberries, sugar, water, lemon juice, vanilla, and cardamon in a pot on low heat. Allow the fruit to simmer gently until rhubarb is soft (but not pureed). Strain the mixture, and set fruit aside. Return liquid to the stove and let boil (reduce) for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
4 Combine flour, pistachios, butter, sugar, rolled oats, and pinch of salt in a bowl. Use your fingers to break down the cold butter and use a “pinching” motion to combine until it looks like coarse meal. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until golden brown (watch the bottom so it doesn’t burn!). Let cool.
5 Place a meringue on a plate. Add a large dollop of whipped cream, top with fruit mixture, and drizzle with fruit liquid. Top with pistachio crumble.
WHOA! That was like a culinary marathon, only way better and delicious! Your turn… enjoy.
By Gabriel Cabrera, The Artful Desperado inside the 2014 summer issue of NICHE