This strawberries, whipped cream and meringue dessert known as Eton Mess is traditionally served at Eton College’s annual cricket game against the students of Winchester College.How does one make Eton mess? By making a strawberry syrup and folding it with whipped cream and crushed meringue to get a marbled look. Just splendid for the holidays!
- 300 grams fresh strawberries trimmed and halved or quartered (reserve the best two for garnish)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup crushed meringue measure after crushing them
- 1 cup whipping cream well chilled
- Place the strawberries in a microwaveable bowl. Add the sugar and stir. Heat in the microwave on HIGH for three minutes.
- The mixture will be syrupy with chunks of soft strawberries. Chill the strawberry syrup before using.
- In a chilled bowl, whip the cream until double in volume.
- Take your meringue. Crush them with your hand. Not into smithereens but into fairly large chunks (see notes after the recipe).
- Dump the crushed meringue into the bowl of whipped cream. Fold gently.
- Pour in the chilled strawberry syrup. Fold — DO NOT OVERMIX — to create a marbled look.
- Spoon into dessert glasses. Top with the reserved whole strawberries.
Some cooks prefer to simply puree the strawberries with sugar in a food processor. I like the syrup the way Tom Norrington Davies did it in Great British Food — by heating the strawberries and sugar together until the strawberries render juices, the sugar melts and a sticky syrup is formed. I also prefer not to puree the strawberries; I like them in chunks for added texture. When crushing the meringue, the pieces don’t have to be uniform. In fact, the texture of the Eton mess is better when you have small and not-too-small pieces of meringue. So, never mind about obsessing with cutting the meringue into uniform pieces.
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