Eton mess

9 May

Eton mess

May is the start of strawberry season in the UK, and strawberries are going to feature large around here in the weeks ahead: strawberries on our cereal and in our smoothies, strawberry tops in our water, strawberry shortcake, strawberry ice cream, and Eton mess.

Eton mess seems like a dish it should be impossible to screw up. Only three ingredients and no cooking or measuring (unless you’re making the meringues). And with the word “mess” in the title, presentation is hardly an issue.

But although I’ve made Eton mess a dozen times or more, I still don’t feel I’ve cracked it. Three things I’ve learned the hard way:

  1. The strawberries must be juicy, so sprinkle them with caster sugar and leave to macerate for an hour.
  2. The cream must be only softly whipped. Too stiff and it turns into an unappealing pink Polyfilla-ish paste when you fold things together.
  3. The meringue must be broken into large pieces so it doesn’t completely dissolve when combined with the cream and fruit.

Eton mess
(serves 4)

  • a punnet of strawberries, thickly sliced
  • 1-2 Tb caster sugar
  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 4 meringue nests (or 12-16 mini meringues)
  1. Sprinkle the sliced strawberries with caster sugar. Toss well and leave to macerate in the fridge for an hour.
  2. Whip the cream just until it forms soft peaks, taking care not to let it become stiff.
  3. Break the meringues into large pieces, then fold the rest into the whipped cream.
  4. Carefully fold in the strawberries until just combined.
  5. Scoop into individual bowls and serve.

6 Responses to “Eton mess”

  1. The Culinary Jumble May 9, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    I love Eton Mess!

    • Andrea May 9, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

      I agree – what’s not to like! πŸ™‚

  2. Linda May 9, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

    Looks incredibly delicious!

    • Andrea May 9, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

      Thanks Linda!

  3. Margo May 9, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    looks scrumptious. Can hardly wait to make it once I figure out WTF punnets are ☺️

    • Andrea May 9, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

      One of those English words I’ve acquired over the years I guess…:-) They are those little square boxes that berries are sold in, and would hold about 250g.

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