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Eton Mess, A Classic British Dessert

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Eton Mess Dessert

Eton Mess Dessert

Photo © RFB Photography
Eton Mess is an all-time classic British dessert and an Eton Mess recipe must be included in any list of strawberry recipes. The dish was traditionally served at Eton College but how it came to have the name is not clear. One story is a Labrador dog sat on a picnic basket in the back of a car and squashed a strawberry and meringue dessert. The dessert is quick and easy to make and makes great use of ripe strawberries at the height of summer when they are plentiful. Frozen or canned strawberries don't work.

The traditional Eton Mess is made with strawberries, but it is possible to use other fruits Rhubarb Mess is a great example, or change the cream .

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 300 ml / 10 ½ fl oz whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp fine sugar
  • 100g / 3 ½ oz ready-made meringue
  • 450g / 1 lb fresh strawberries
  • 1 tbsp icing / confectioners sugar

Preparation:

Method
  • Place the whipping cream in a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and whip with an electric mixture until the cream is light and fluffy. Do not over whip - the success of the dish requires softly whipped cream.
  • Break the meringue into large bite-size chucks and gently stir into the cream. Don't worry if some of the meringue crumbles just add this too.
  • Place half of the strawberries into another large mixing bowl and press gently with the back of a fork to break up the strawberries slightly and release some of the juice. Stir gently into the cream.
  • Halve, then quarter the remaining strawberries.
  • Place the cream mixture into a 18 cm /7" trifle or glass serving dish, top with the strawberry pieces, chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator and sprinkle with the confectioners/icing sugar before serving. Alternately serve in individual size dessert bowl or glasses.


For home made meringue follow the link below for a step-by-step guide.

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