Rhubarb Eton Mess

Spring is here my friends! 25 degrees in Calgary in May? I’m not sure I believe it either but it has happened. Unfortunately it’s a little cooler today but it’s not snowing so I’m not complaining (Calgarians are famous for whining that it’s too cold and then they can’t take it when it gets hot, sorry Mother Nature, you can’t win).
Anyways, for me, spring means rhubarb. It’s one of those things that isn’t around for long though so you have to get your fix while it lasts. Get all rhubarb-ed out and then you won’t have to eat it for the rest of the year!
I kept things simple stupid for dessert last night and made my take on Eton Mess. It’s a traditional British dessert usually composed of strawberries, cream and meringue. Yes, I understand that I’m only using one of those 3 components in my recipe but that’s why it’s in quotations.
When I worked at Boxwood last summer we had a rhubarb Eton Mess on the menu. All I really altered from that recipe was the crunch factor. Instead of meringue, I topped the cream with a toasted oat crumble. It gave it that granola kind of feel. Actually my mom’s first request was, “can I have this for breakfast tomorrow?” Unfortunately there were no leftovers. But that’s what’s nice about this dessert; it’s not too sweet that it couldn’t double for breakfast the next day. It’s an appropriately “spring” end to a meal this time of year!
Rhubarb Eton Mess
Rhubarb Eton Mess

Rhubarb Eton Mess

Poached Rhubarb

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3-4 stalks of rhubarb, peeling and diced

Bring the sugar and water to a boil to fully dissolve the sugar. Add the rhubarb and cook over medium heat until it JUST begins to soften (no more than 5 minutes or so). Then remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. This way the rhubarb absorbs the syrup without completely disintegrating. Any rhubarb you don’t use immediately can be refrigerated in the syrup. Also, leftover syrup is great for flavoring cocktails. You could even make a springy rhubarb lemonade with it! Another idea I came up with and can’t wait to try is reducing the syrup until all of the water evaporates and then using the flavored caramel to do whatever you like (I’m going to try candying almonds!).

Whipped Cream

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla paste (or extract)

Whip the cream to soft peaks using a whisk or electric hand mixer. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Oat Crumble

1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp. brown sugar

Toast the oats and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Pay close attention because once the sugar melts you want to take it off the stove and get it onto a plate to prevent the sugar from burning (make sure you are also stirring throughout this process so all of the oats are evenly coated in brown sugar). Cool slightly before assembling.

To serve: Rhubarb on the bottom, then whipped cream, then crumble. That’s all she wrote. Thanks Guy Fieri for getting that tag line stuck in my head. Now we’re all on our way to flavortown! Nope, not allowing myself to stoop to that level.

Rhubarb Eton Mess
Rhubarb Eton Mess

One thought on “Rhubarb Eton Mess

  • May 16, 2013 at 6:05 am

    This sounds wonderful! Cream and rhubarb along with the crumbled oats sounds fantastic tonight.


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