Rhubarb and cardamom whip (with Pimm’s)

Fruit dessert with Pimm's

A light, fruity dessert with Pimm’s. It must be Pimm’s o’ clock!

This dessert needs to be filed under D for Divine. You can make it as healthy or as rich as you like – depending upon your ratio of yoghurt to cream – and it works best with a sharp fruit like rhubarb, gooseberries or raspberries. It’s a bit of a cross between a traditional fruit fool and a trifle (I guess that would make it a trool or a frifle? Now I’m just being silly…).

The addition of Pimm’s No 1 really works, and it’s a surprising complement to the flavour of cardamom. It’s probably because the cardamom has a slightly lemony flavour and we all know how well this particular drink goes with a slice of lemon and other fruit.

I so love Pimm’s – it’s refreshing and evocative of lazy summer lunches, warm evening barbeques and posh weddings. I see the company has a new flavour out, with Blackberry and Elderflower, which I’m sure would also work well with this recipe.

Of course, you can always make a non-alcoholic version – I used orange juice in the portion I served up to my tee-total husband.

Ingredients (for around four servings)

300-400g rhubarb
2 medium apples
1 cup (250ml) of natural yoghurt
1 cup (250ml) double cream
2 egg whites
4 tbsp sugar
I vanilla pod (optional)
5 cardamom pods
Sponge fingers
Pimm’s No. 1 to taste

Method

Chop the rhubarb into one inch pieces and the peeled apple into cubes. Put in a pan with a little water, the scraped out vanilla pod, and around 2 tbsp of sugar (optional). Lightly stew until the fruit becomes a puree (you can add a little Pimms at this stage if you want a particularly boozy pud) and then leave to cool.

Whisk the egg whites with 2 tbsp of sugar until it forms firm peaks. In a separate bowl whip the cream until it also forms firm peaks.

First stir the yoghurt into the whisked egg whites and then gently fold in the rhubarb and apple puree so it streaks through the mixture. If you wish, you can keep aside a little of the puree to use as a decorative blob on the finished dessert.

Shell the cardamom pods, crush finely in a pestle and mortar and stir the powder into the crème mixture. Finally, lightly fold in the cream.

You can experiment with the ratio of yoghurt and cream. You might want to just use yoghurt (in which case you might want to use Greek yoghurt) and egg whites, which is fine. It will be a slightly looser consistency but can still be filed under D for Divine.

Line some dessert bowls with 4-6 sponge fingers. If they’re flat-bottomed dishes you can line the fingers up like soldiers, or else you can snap them in half and mould them artistically around curved dishes. Pour over a measure of Pimm’s or orange juice or a mixture of the two. Enough to lightly soak at least part of each finger.

Spoon the crème mixture over the top and chill the desserts in the fridge for an hour. Next, eat! Get a long sundae spoon and delve down to the bottom, so you get a taste of the Pimm’s with each mouthful of crème.

Heaven!

Happy summer to you all!

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