Baked Rhubarb and Rose Geranium Compote with Little Pavlovas
(Serves 10)Rose-scented geranium (Pelargonium capitatum 'Attar of Roses') is a delightfully fragrant plant to grow in your garden or in a pot in a sunny area of a deck. In summer, when roses are in season, I also add red rose petals to this compote to enhance the colour and for their wonderfully natural-tasting flavour.
125g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp + 1 tsp) sugar
7 rose-scented geranium leaves
500g rhubarb (washed and cut into 3-4cm lengths)
30ml (2 tbsp) water
10 Little Pavlovas (recipe follows)
500ml (2 cups) cream (lightly whipped)
20 heartsease petals (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Into a 1.5 - 2Litre gratin dish sprinkle a third of the sugar and spread across base. Scatter geranium leaves over sugar and top with half the rhubarb. Repeat layers of sugar and rhubarb then drizzle with water.
Cover gratin loosely with aluminium foil. Bake for 35-45 minutes (depending on how thick the rhubarb stalks are) or until fork tender.
Cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight for flavours to develop fully.
Remove geranium leaves and serve rhubarb at room temperature with Little Pavlovas and whipped cream. Garnish with heartsease petals if you wish.
8 (1 cup) egg whites (leave out of the refrigerator for 15 minutes)
1/8 tsp salt
460g (2 cups + 4 tbsp) caster sugar
7g (1 tbsp) cornflour
1 tsp malt vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 100°C. Line 1 or 2 low-sided roasting trays with baking paper.
Place all the ingredients in the clean dry bowl of an electric mixer. On high speed, whisk for 20-25 minutes or until stiff peaks form and the mixture is satiny with no sugar granules evident. In warm weather this will take less than 20-25 minutes.
Using a large metal spoon, dollop 10 mounds of mixture onto tray, allowing 2cm between each. Or use 2 large spoons to form quenelles (oval shapes).
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until pavlovas are crisp on the outside. Remove from oven and cool. Store pavlovas in a cool dry place loosely covered with a tea towel. Do not make them airtight. Store for up to 7 days.