PS Desserts
Mark Roper

Disgorging is a technique used to extract moisture from fruit and vegetables while infusing flavour at the same time. It is most commonly done to rhubarb. I toss the rhubarb with sugar and aromatics and the sugar draws out the moisture while the aromatics permeate the rhubarb. If you don’t disgorge rhubarb that you plan to bake or poach, it will end up pulpy. The action of disgorging ensures the rhubarb will hold its shape and remain firm. I bake disgorged rhubarb in my Snow White and Rose Red dessert.


Quantity Ingredient
5 medium-thick sta rhubarb caster sugar
caster sugar, (amount depending on trimmed weight of rhubarb)
3 rose geranium leaves, roughly torn, (see note)
1/2 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped


  1. Preparing the fruit

    Peel the rhubarb stalks using a small sharp knife — strip the fibrous outer membrane off in long strands as you would for celery.
  2. Cut the stalks into 4 cm lengths.
  3. Weigh the rhubarb; for every 100 g of rhubarb, use 50 g of caster sugar.
  4. Disgorging

    Toss the rhubarb and sugar together. At this stage, you can also toss the fruit with any flavourings you like. In this example, I like to use rose geranium leaves and vanilla bean and seeds.
  5. Leave to “disgorge” for 20 minutes, stirring regularly. Bake the disgorged rhubarb and its juices as directed in the recipe.


  • Rhubarb is technically a vegetable but I’ve included it in this chapter because you use it in sweets as you would other types of fruit.

    Rose geranium imparts a lovely floral fragrance. It is a very easy shrub to grow. It’s available in nurseries, or for those with a foraging heart, look for them in front yards. Keep in mind that there are many types — you want to pick one that smells “rosy”. If you can’t find rose geranium, use rosewater to taste instead.
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