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Pavlova with Rhubarb and Pistachios

It’s hard to believe that a dessert this elevated is made from such basic ingredients: sugar, egg whites, and vanilla. It is also a lovely study in contrasts: the delicate, crisp exterior; the ephemeral interior; and here, soft, sweet-tart rhubarb and crunchy pistachios. Happy spring.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10
Pavlova with Rhubarb and Pistachios

Photography: Jonathan Lovekin

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2013

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and sliced on the bias into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Chopped roasted unsalted pistachios, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Stir together 1 cup sugar and the cornstarch in a small bowl. Beat together egg whites, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt with a mixer on low speed until very frothy. Increase speed to medium-high and gradually add sugar mixture, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, 12 to 15 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl halfway through.

  2. Mound meringue onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and gently spread into a 7-inch circle, leaving a well 3 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch deep in the center. Bake until meringue is crisp on the outside and the texture of marshmallow on the inside, about 2 1/2 hours. (If meringue starts to brown, reduce oven temperature to 175 degrees.) Turn off heat and let meringue cool in oven at least 2 1/2 hours or up to overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine rhubarb, water, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, remaining tablespoon lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Bake until just tender, 10 to 12 minutes, spooning juices over halfway through.

  4. Carefully transfer rhubarb pieces (they will be very soft) to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet with a spatula; reserve juices. Let cool completely.

  5. Just before serving, beat together cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Place meringue on a serving platter and fill with whipped cream. Top with rhubarb, and garnish with pistachios. Spoon over pavlova and rhubarb juices, and serve immediately.

Cook's Note

Meringue can be made 1 day ahead and kept uncovered in a cool, dry place. Rhubarb can be baked up to 6 hours ahead.

Reviews (3)

  • Alvydas 26 Apr, 2014

    This is a stunning dessert- everyone will let tell you that! The rhubarb takes like candy! However, this will barely serve 10, and when serving you lose most of the visual appeal. The recipe should perhaps be altered to increase the ratio with one more egg white. I found the nest was too small. Other than the meringue, I felt the recipe was accurate. Certainly make it the night before and let the nest hang out in your oven- I even baked the rhubarb the night before too! Definitely a must try.

  • Brandy Bora 12 Jul, 2013

    I made this to the letter and it was pretty simple. I had a problem with the meringue but I ALWAYS have problems getting my egg whites to have nice stiff peaks that do not deflate in the oven. I also thought it was too sweet for my taste so I will experiment with the following changes next time.

    1. More Rhubarb with less syrup
    2. More pistachios
    3. Sugarfree meringues if possible

  • gretchenohar 23 Mar, 2013

    Would love to make this for Easter Brunch. Does anyone have any ideas for purchasing fresh rhubarb in March in New York?
    Thanks.

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