Rhubarb Mini Pavlovas with Pastry Cream
These rhubarb mini pavlovas with pastry cream are THE spring dessert! Rhubarb is one of my favorite products of one of my favorite seasons. When cooked, I find that rhubarb has a very tart flavor, and combined with sugar, it almost has a berry-like flavor to it! It’s just lovely paired with sweet desserts like pavlovas and pastry cream! I especially love the color that results from cooking them– the syrup is a lovely huge of magenta too!
Swiss Meringue Mini Pavlovas
The first component of this beautiful dessert is the swiss meringue mini pavlovas. Using the swiss meringue method, we dissolve the sugar in the egg whites over a double boiler before whipping to stiff peaks. This is my favorite method of making meringue and it ALWAYS results in perfectly white and smooth pavlovas with the correct textures! Super crisp on the outside, hiding a perfectly fluffy, slightly chewy, marshmallowy inside!
Rhubarb is super tart in nature. For these rhubarb mini pavlovas, we poach the rhubarb in sugar, water, lemon juice and zest, and a bit of vanilla. This is a super quick method that results in tender, tangy and sweet, beautifully deep magenta rhubarb swimming in a bright rhubarb syrup!
This vanilla pastry cream is similar to a custard except that it includes cornstarch and is cooked on the stovetop. It comes together so quickly and tastes amazing! It’s creamy and just sweet enough without being way too thick or cloyingly sweet. It pairs beautifully with these mini rhubarb pavlovas.
What You’ll Need
Ingredients for Rhubarb Mini Pavlovas with Pastry Cream
- Granulated sugar
- Whole Milk
How to make Rhubarb Mini Pavlovas with Pastry Cream
Make Swiss Meringue Mini Pavlovas
Follow my BEST Swiss meringue pavlova recipe to make these mini pavlovas. I always make these the night before I need them.
First, cook and dissolve sugar in egg whites over a double boiler, and then whisk to stiff peaks. Then, add cornstarch and lemon juice and whisk in well. Shape mini pavlovas on a extra large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 2 hours. Let them cool inside the oven for an additional 2 hours and let completely cool before assembling.
Prep Vanilla Pastry Cream
Make the pastry cream the night before to make your life easier– it needs a lot of time to cool completely!
Whisk all ingredients except butter together in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until bubbles start to burst at the surface. Then cook for 1 more minute, whisking vigorously. It will thicken very quickly. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Pour into a heat safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely before chilling in fridge.
Make Poached Rhubarb
Prep the poached rhubarb the night before you need it.
After washing rhubarb and cutting off the tips of both ends, cut rhubarb stalks into 1.5 inch diagonal pieces. Add rhubarb and rest of ingredients into large saucepan, stir well, and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 10 minutes, when the rhubarb is tender but still holding its shape. Pour poached rhubarb and syrup onto a shallow plate and let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge.
Assemble Rhubarb Mini Pavlovas with Pastry Cream
Do not assemble mini pavlovas until ready to serve and eat!
Spoon about two tablespoons of pastry cream onto each mini pavlova. Top with a few pieces of rhubarb and then drizzle with rhubarb syrup!
Other recipes to try:
Perfectly poached rhubarb sit atop a luscious vanilla pastry cream draped over my favorite mini pavlovas-- a great crispy exterior and marshmallowy interior!
For swiss meringue mini pavlovas
For vanilla pastry cream
- 2 c (480g) whole milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 c (100g) granulated sugar
- 3 tb (23g) cornstarch
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tbsp butter, cubed
For poached rhubarb
- 1 pound rhubarb
- 1/2 c (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 c (78g) water
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Prepare swiss meringue pavlovas
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and make swiss meringue recipe. Line an extra large baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon out meringue, making 6-8 lumps equally spaced on the baking sheet. Smooth out the sides of the mini pavlovas with the back of a spoon and then create a well in the middle of each of them. Place into oven and lower temperature to 220 degrees F and bake for 2 hours, without ever opening oven door. Let pavlovas rest in oven for at least 2 hours before removing.
Make vanilla pastry cream
- In a medium saucepan, combine whole milk, vanilla, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and yolks. Whisk together well. Place over low-medium heat, whisking constantly. After about 5 minutes, it will start to slightly thicken. Once you see a few bubbles pop on the surface, whisk VIGOROUSLY for 1 more minute (it will thicken quickly here) and remove from heat. Whisk in butter until completely combined.
- Pour into heat safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool before placing in refrigerator to chill completely.
For poached rhubarb
- Remove any leaves on rhubarb stalks, wash, and cut off either ends of the stalks, then cut into 1.5 inch diagonal batons.
- Place rhubarb along with sugar, water, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla into a large frying pan and place over medium heat. Give everything a good stir to combine and bring liquids to a boil, then let simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes, until rhubarb is tender. Do not over cook or stir too much or rhubarb might break apart of become stringy.
- Remove from heat and place rhubarb and syrup onto a large shallow plate to cool. Cover and cool completely in fridge.
Assemble mini pavlovas
- When ready to serve, spoon about 2 tablespoons of pastry cream into the wells of each pavlova, place 3-4 rhubarb pieces on top, and then drizzle rhubarb syrup on top. Enjoy immediately.