Eton Mess with a difference. You don’t have to make the rose meringues to go in this pudding -if you are short of time some shop-bought meringues would do. However, I think homemade meringues win on texture (shop-bought never have chewy centres) and of course you can add your own flavourings such as the rose water. Making the meringues a few days in advance means the pud can be whipped up in no time. You can prepare all the component parts ahead of time-the roasted rhubarb, whipped cream and meringues- but the meringues will soften and dissolve if the Mess is assembled too far in advance. An hour or two is best. Any leftover Mess can be scooped into a container and frozen-it makes a wonderful parfait-style ice cream.
- 570g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
- 85g caster sugar
- ½-1 tablespoon rose water (depending on its strength)
- 500ml double cream
- 6 rose meringues, crumbled up
- Heat the oven to 200˚c, fan oven 180˚c, mark 6. Place the rhubarb pieces in a roasting tin and sprinkle over the caster sugar and rosewater. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until soft. Leave to cool completely.
- Whip the cream to the point where it is just beginning to leave a trail. I can’t emphasize enough not to overwhip the cream-it will stiffen up considerably as soon as the rhubarb is added.
- An hour or two before you are ready to eat gently fold in the rhubarb (leaving some of the juice to drizzle over later) and ¾ of the meringues. Spoon the Mess into a serving bowl or individual bowls and drizzle over any rhubarb juice and the remaining crumbled meringue. Chill until ready to serve.