Hannah Miles’ Rhubarb And Ginger Pavlova

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Pavlova is commonly served with strawberries or raspberries, but this classic has been given a fun twist with a delicately ginger-scented meringue and oven-poached rhubarb – which is especially good when rhubarb is first in season.

Ingredients
For the meringue:
4 egg whites
225g caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger, sifted

For the rhubarb compote:
100g caster sugar
3cm piece of ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
450g pink rhubarb, trimmed

For the topping:
200ml creme fraiche
200ml soured cream

Method
For the meringue, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks in a large bowl. While still whisking, add the caster sugar, one tablespoonful at a time. The meringue should be glossy and hold a peak when you lift the beaters. Sprinkle the ginger over the top of the meringue and fold through gently.
2 Spoon the meringue on to the centre of the silicone mat and spread out gently, using a spatula, into a disc about 22 cm in diameter. Using the spatula, make a well in the centre and pull the outside meringue into decorative swirls and peaks.
3 Slide the tray onto the bottom runners of the Simmering Oven and bake for 1–11/4 hours until the meringue is crisp and slightly golden, turning the tray halfway through this time to ensure even cooking. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
4 To prepare the rhubarb, place the sugar and sliced ginger in a saucepan with 180 ml water and simmer until you have a thin syrup.
5 Chop the rhubarb into long pieces and place in a small roasting pan. Pour the ginger syrup and ginger slices over the rhubarb and bake in the Roasting Oven for 10–15 minutes until the rhubarb is just soft. Check halfway through the cooking time and turn the pan if the rhubarb is starting to cook more on one side than on the other. When the rhubarb is soft, remove it from the oven and leave to cool completely.
6 When you are ready to serve, whisk together the creme fraiche and soured cream. Place the meringue carefully on a serving plate and top with the cream mixture.
7 Drain the rhubarb (reserving the syrup) and remove the ginger, then spoon the rhubarb over the cream; drizzle with a little of the ginger syrup.
8 Store the pavlova in the refrigerator if you are not eating it straight away. The meringue without the topping will keep for at least a week stored in an airtight container. Once covered with the cream and rhubarb, it will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator; but it is best eaten on the day it is made.

Recipe courtesy of Hannah Miles’ Sweet things from the Aga

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