Rhubarb, strawberry and vanilla pudding

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 350 gm rhubarb (about 1 bunch), trimmed, tough skin peeled, cut into 1.5cm lengths
  • 250 gm strawberries (about 1 punnet), hulled, halved
  • 230 gm caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • For dusting: pure icing sugar
  •  
  • Vanilla cake
  • 60 gm plain flour
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 60 gm caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 50 gm unsalted butter, melted
  •  
  • Vanilla sauce
  • 250 ml (1 cup) each milk and pouring cream
  • ½ vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  •  
  • Praline
  • 60 gm almonds
  • For greasing: vegetable oil
  • 75 gm caster sugar
  • 60 gm liquid glucose
  •  
  • Rhubarb purée
  • 200 gm rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 60 gm caster sugar
  •  
  • Creamy meringue
  • 200 ml milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 90 gm caster sugar
  • 15 gm cornflour
01   Combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a baking dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside until sugar dissolves and juices are released (1 hour). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 160C. Remove plastic wrap, cover with foil and bake until fruit is tender (30-40 minutes). Set aside to cool.
02   For vanilla cake, increase oven to 180C. Sift flour and 1 tsp fine sea salt into a large bowl, set aside. Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer on medium-high heat until tripled in volume (5 minutes). Fold in flour in batches until combined. Add one-quarter of the egg mixture to melted butter and quickly combine, then fold through remaining egg mixture. Butter a 15cm square tin and line with baking paper. Pour in batter and bake in centre of oven until top springs back when lightly pressed (15-17 minutes). Cool in tin for 10 minutes, turn onto a wire rack and cool completely.
03   For vanilla sauce, bring milk, cream, vanilla bean and vanilla seeds to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale (2-3 minutes), then gradually add milk mixture, whisking continuously. Pour into a clean saucepan and stir over medium heat until thick (5-8 minutes). Strain into a bowl and refrigerate to chill.
04   For praline, preheat oven to 175C. Scatter almonds on an oven tray and roast, shaking occasionally, until roasted (5-7 minutes). Scatter on an oiled oven tray and set aside. Stir sugar, liquid glucose and 2 tbsp water in a saucepan over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar. Brush sides with a wet pastry brush to remove sugar crystals, then boil without stirring until dark caramel (5-7 minutes). Pour mixture over almonds. Cool, break into coarse pieces and pulse in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Set aside in an airtight container.
05   For rhubarb purée, stir rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until a thick purée forms (15-20 minutes), then set aside.
06   For creamy meringue, heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and 30gm sugar in a heatproof bowl until pale (3-4 minutes). Add cornflour, whisk to combine (1-2 minutes), then gradually add warm milk, whisk to combine and return to a clean saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat, whisking continuously, then reduce heat to low and whisk until thick (1-2 minutes). Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl, cover closely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Whisk eggwhite in an electric mixer until frothy, add a pinch of salt and whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, whisking until firm peaks form (do not over-whisk). Whisk custard to loosen, then fold one-third of meringue into custard. Fold through remaining meringue to just combine.
07   Preheat oven to 180C. Cut vanilla cake into quarters, spread with rhubarb purée and place in base of four 500ml ramekins. Divide rhubarb and strawberry compote among ramekins, top with creamy meringue, scatter each with 2 tbsp praline and dust with icing sugar. Place ramekins on an oven tray and bake until golden (12-15 minutes). Serve hot with vanilla sauce.
This recipe is from the November 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

ROCKPOOL BAR , GRILL, PERTH

Photography:

WILLIAM MEPPEM

Styling:

GERALDINE MUNOZ

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