Trim and cut into 2cm pieces the rhubarb. Deseed and cut into pieces the vanilla pods. Sieve the icing sugar. To decorate, roughly chop the shelled pistachios.
- 1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
- 2 Toss together the rhubarb, sugar, vanilla pod pieces and orange juice.
- 3 Spread out the mixture in a small baking dish and roast for 15 minutes, or until tender.
- 4 Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- 5 Turn the oven down to 110°C/90°C fan/gas ¼.
- 6 Reserve 10 pieces of rhubarb for decoration, and purée the rest in a blender.
- 7 Only add the juices from the baking dish if the purée seems too thick.
- 8 Set aside.
- 9 Trace 4 x 18cm circles on baking paper as a guide for the meringue discs.
- 10 Put the sugar and 90ml water into a heavy-based saucepan.
- 11 Carefully swirl the water around to ensure the sugar is covered. (Do not stir after swirling as this will encourage sugar crystals to form on the sides of the pan.)
- 12 Put the pan over a high heat until the mixture bubbles.
- 13 Reduce the heat to medium and allow the mixture to bubble away for about 10 minutes.
- 14 If using a thermometer the syrup is ready when it reaches 116°C.
- 15 Otherwise, test the mixture by dropping a small amount into a cup of cold water, lift it out and if it can be rolled into a soft ball, it’s ready.
- 16 If it’s still slippery and loose, bubble a little longer.
- 17 Meanwhile, in a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks using an electric whisk.
- 18 When the syrup is ready, add it to the whisked egg whites, whisking continuously until the mixture is glossy and the syrup is fully incorporated.
- 19 Pipe or spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, filling in the circles.
- 20 Bake for 2 hours, then keep the oven door ajar with a wooden spoon and bake for another hour to crisp up the surface.
- 21 Turn the oven off and leave the meringues to cool in the oven for a further hour.
- 22 To make the filling, beat the icing sugar into the mascarpone, adding more if you prefer a sweeter flavour.
- 23 Then gently fold about two-thirds of the rhubarb purée into the mascarpone.
- 24 To assemble the cake, spread a meringue disc with a third of the mascarpone and top with some of the reserved purée, gently rippling it with a table knife.
- 25 Repeat with 2 of the remaining meringues, mascarpone and purée.
- 26 Put the final meringue circle on top and decorate with the reserved pieces of rhubarb and the chopped pistachios.
Where did I go wrong? Looked perfect after assembling and I was feeling well chuffed. Unfortunately when I moved it to put in the fridge it all slid apart. I mixed strawberries with the rhubarb it tasted delicious but was more like Eton Mess.
How on earth did you leave it a day? Mine was gone within two hours. And I was the only one eating it.
Relatively easy to make and looks impressive when finished. Possible to make the meringues days in advance. Also tastes very nice. However the only one draw back is that it must be eaten in the same day. We left it one day and it turned into a tower of mush.