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