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Burnt Meringue with Poached Rhubarb

Burnt Meringue with Poached Rhubarb

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay may be known for complicated, high-end meals, but he can also cook up a storm in under 30 minutes.

Try this recipe from his new book: Quick and Delicious.

The secret to perfect, crisp meringues is cooking them at a low temperature really, really slowly, which rules them out for this book. However, the soft meringues here are cooked at the last minute with a blowtorch, bringing a lovely dark caramel flavour to the finished dish. The result is a restaurant-quality dessert that’s still produced within 30 minutes.

  • 350g rhubarb, cut into 5cm lengths
  • 30ml grenadine liqueur
  • zest and juice of ½ orange
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 30ml water
  • 150g strawberries, thickly sliced
  • crème fraîche, to serve

For the pistachio crumble

  • 30g butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 30g nibbed pistachios

For the meringue

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 100g caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4. Line a small baking tray with baking paper.

2. Start by making the pistachio crumble: put the butter, flour and sugar into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the pistachios

and pulse just a couple of times, until the nuts are roughly chopped. Pour the mixture into the prepared tray and place in the oven for 10–15 minutes, or until lightly golden.

3. Meanwhile, put the rhubarb into a small saucepan with the grenadine, orange zest and juice, vanilla seeds, sugar and water. Place over a high heat, cover with a lid and cook for 3–4 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender but still holding its shape. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rhubarb to a bowl.

4. Return the pan to the hob and heat the liquid until it reduces to a thick syrup. Leave to cool slightly, then fold in the strawberries, followed by the rhubarb.

5. Remove the crumble from the oven and leave to cool.

6. To make the meringue, put the egg whites into a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until it is all incorporated and firm peaks have formed.

7. Smear a spoonful of the meringue onto each plate. Place the remainder in a piping bag and pipe a few meringue ‘kisses’ on each plate. Run a blowtorch over the meringue until golden and burnt in places.

8. Spoon some rhubarb mixture onto each plate. Drizzle over the syrup, then add a spoonful of crème fraîche. Finally, break up the pistachio crumble and sprinkle over the top before serving.