This is the time of year that I get severe London sickness. The combination of it being Wintery weather here in Australia and sitting watching the sunshine (and admittedly frequent rain) at Wimbledon makes me wish I was court side in London with a Pimms. I have great memories of Wimbledon whether watching the action on the big screen from “Murray’s Mound” under umbrellas or sitting at an outer court watching Lleyton Hewitt and discovering the person sitting next to me was Bec Hewitt.
The signature dish of Wimbledon is strawberries and cream as strawberries in Britain are at their peak at this time. One of the ways you are served your strawberries and cream is as an Eton Mess – essentially a mixture of strawberries, cream and broken meringue.
Given strawberries are out of season here I came up with this dessert the other night as a Winters take on Eton Mess. Instead of using strawberries it makes the most of all the fabulous rhubarb that’s around at the moment and a little bit of Persian fairy floss adds a little bit of whimsy.
The only tricky part is making the meringue. But don’t worry about getting a perfect meringue – after all you are going to break it up into pieces. This Winter Eton Mess doesn’t quite make up for not being at Wimbledon but then, what does?
- 2 egg whites
- 3/4 cup golden caster sugar
- 6 stalks of rhubarb
- 250ml of cream
- 2 tsp icing sugar
- 100gm Persian fairy floss
- Preheat the oven to 150c.
- Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form and then slowly add 1/2 a cup of sugar, a little at a time. Continue whisking until the sugar is absorbed and the meringue mixture is glossy. You can use plain caster sugar but I like to use golden caster sugar as it gives the meringues a lovely caramel hue.
- Spoon the meringue mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper and bake in the oven for 45 mins. Once finished turn the oven off, open the oven door and leave the meringue in the oven until cooled completely.
- Meanwhile slice the rhubarb into small pieces and place in a saucepan with 1/2 a cup of water and the remaining1/4 a cup of sugar. Cook over a low heat until the rhubarb pieces start to break down and become soft.
- Tear the meringues into pieces and divide between glasses along with the whipped cream and warm rhubarb stew. Top with the Persian fairy floss.
- Serve immediately before the rhubarb begins to melt the cream.
- You can get Persian fairy floss at specialist delis. It's not essential but adds a fun touch to the dessert.