Photography by Angie Norwood Browne
- 2 lbs. rhubarb stems, cut into small pieces
- 1c. sugar
- 2 vanilla pods, split in half lengthways
- 2-3 star anise
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 c. rose water
- rose petals for garnish
For the meringue
- 5 large free-range egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 T. sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- Heat oven to 275 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment. In large bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add in the sugar until thick and glossy, then the cornflour. Pile the meringue in soft swirls onto the baking parchment, then bake on the lowest shelf for 1 hr until crisp on the outside and dry underneath. Cool, then gently peel off the paper. Can be made up to a day in advance, just store in airtight containers.
- Place the rhubarb in a large pan along with the sugar, vanilla, star anise, cinnamon, and about 3/4 water. Bring to a gentle simmer, add rose water, then cook very gently until just soft. Discard the vanilla, star anise and cinnamon. Remove the rhubarb from the pan, reserving the cooking liquid. Purée half of the fruit with a hand blender, then strain into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve.
- Reduce the rhubarb cooking liquid until thick and syrupy. Leave rhubarb and syrup to cool (can be made up to 2 days ahead and chilled until needed).
- To serve, whip the cream until it just forms peaks. Carefully ripple the rhubarb purée through the cream. Plate each meringue and spoon on some of the rhubarb rippled cream. Top with the remaining rhubarb and spoon some of the rhubarb syrup on top and around the plate. Food styling by Karra Wise, recipe inspired by BBC Good Food.