A seasonal twist on a perennial favourite, this Eton Mess sparkles with the springtime tang of rhubarb and is a little lighter than the traditional version, thanks to the addition of some Greek yoghurt.
We’re lucky enough to have rhubarb that stays pink without using a forcer (we have one but it’s largely decorative). The pinker the rhubarb, the prettier your Eton Mess will be, but it will taste good either way. I like to add stem ginger and a little of its syrup but leave it out if you prefer.
I make my own meringues whenever I have leftover egg whites – this Angela Nilsen recipe from the BBC Good Food website is foolproof, crisp on the outside with a slightly chewy, marshmallowy centre. They freeze well, too, but for a super-fast pud you can use shop-bought meringue nests.
You can pre-cook the rhubarb, prep the ginger and whip the cream/yoghurt a day or two in advance. Keep them covered in the fridge until just before serving. Keep home-made meringues, once cooled, in an airtight tin.
Rhubarb Eton Mess
450g slender rhubarb stems, trimmed
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp ginger syrup or water
200 ml double cream
150 ml Greek yoghurt
A further 1 tbsp caster sugar
4 meringue nests
4 pieces of stem ginger, diced small
Heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/400F/Gas Mark 6. Cut the trimmed rhubarb into short batons and arrange in a single layer in an oven-proof dish. Scatter with 1 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp ginger syrup or water, cover tightly and bake for 20 minutes or until tender but holding their shape. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Fish the ginger chunks out of their jar and give them a rinse under the tap then blot them dry – they’re much easier to slice and dice if they’re not sticky. Cut into small dice, cover and set aside.
Take a large bowl and whip the cream to soft peaks. Add the yoghurt, sprinkle in the additional sugar and whip again until stiff but still a bit billowy.
Just before serving, carefully scoop out half the rhubarb with a slotted spoon, making sure it’s well drained, and gently swirl it into the cream. Break up the meringues into biggish chunks and stir them through, along with half the diced ginger, if using.
Spoon into individual bowls, top with more rhubarb and scatter with the remaining topaz jewels of diced ginger, if using. Serve straight away.