Rhubarb with Meringue, Strawberry Sorbet, Basil Sorbet, Fruit Sugar & Yellow Wine Cream

Toqué! & Brasserie T!, Montreal, Normand Laprise / July 2013

For 4 servings (requires advance preparation)

Cooked rhubarb:

  • 4 rhubarb stalks, cut into strips lengthwise with vegetable peeler
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.

  2. Align rhubarb strips on baking sheet lined with parchment paper; cut into 6" squares; sprinkle with sugar; cover with another sheet of parchment paper; bake until rhubarb is softened; remove from oven; cool on baking sheet; place in airtight container; cover; reserve in refrigerator.

Meringue:

  • 3 lg. egg whites
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  1. Heat oven to 220°F.

  2. Whisk egg whites in electric mixer; beat until frothy; with motor running, gradually add sugar; beat to stiff peaks. 3. Spread meringue onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper to 1" thickness; bake 1 1/2 hours, rotating sheet halfway through; remove from oven; cool; reserve.

Strawberry sorbet:

  • 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and cut into pieces
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  1. Place berries, sugar, and juice in a bowl; cover; reserve in refrigerator 24 hours.

  2. Pulse strawberry mixture in a processor until smooth; strain through fine chinois into a bowl; reserve pulp in strainer for fruit sugar; process puree in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions; place sorbet in airtight container; reserve in freezer.

Basil sorbet:

  • 2 cups basil leaves, blanched
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  1. Pulse basil and 2/3 cup hot water in a processor until finely chopped; strain through fine chinois; discard solids; reserve basil water.

  2. Bring sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil in small saucepan; remove from heat; add reserved basil water; cool; process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions; place in airtight container; reserve in freezer.

Fruit sugar:

  • 2 Tbsps. powdered egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

Mix 2/3 cup reserved strawberry pulp and egg whites in a bowl; bring sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan; cook until candy thermometer registers 275°F; add fruit mixture; reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring with a spatula, 1 minute; turn off heat; whisk vigorously until mixture crystallizes; scrape sides and bottom of pan until granular powder forms; sprinkle fruit sugar over baking sheet lined with parchment paper, crushing larger pieces; place in cool dry place; reserve.

Basil oil:

  • 1 1/2 bunches basil, thinly chopped
  • 1 cup olive or grapeseed oil
  1. Pat basil dry; place in a bowl; add oil; mix with hand mixer; set bowl over ice water bath; cool; place basil oil in airtight container; cover; reserve in refrigerator 12 hours.

  2. Bring basil oil to room temperature; strain through fine chinois into clean airtight container; discard solids; reserve oil.

Assembly:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsps. vin jaune (yellow wine)
  • 1 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
  1. Whisk cream to soft peaks; add wine and sugar; beat just until incorporated; cover; reserve in refrigerator.

  2. To serve, place cold rhubarb on serving plates; top each with 2 Tbsps. yellow wine cream; break meringue into pieces; sprinkle over cream; top with a quenelle of basil sorbet and a quenelle of strawberry sorbet; drizzle basil oil around; garnish with fruit sugar.

What to drink: Alain Renardat-Fâche Bugey Cerdon NV
Chef’s Note: You could also serve this dessert with strawberry jelly.