The English are very simple folk, that's why they created this most supreme of summer recipes. Sliced strawberries and meringues mixed up with whipped cream make a superb tasting creation. Drizzle over strawberry puree for perfection.
500g / 1.1lb Strawberries
570ml / 1 pint Double (whipping) cream
1 tablespoon Icing sugar
12 Shop bought meringue nestsPREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes
Eton is the most famous independent boys school in England. It is situated near the River Thames and Windsor in the South of England. Offering possibly the best education in the world, it was the school of no less than 18 British prime ministers.
Eton Mess was an invention from the annual Eton "Fourth of June" celebration. So the story goes, a dog sat on a picnic basket containing, amongst other foods, strawberries and cream. In true English style the participants at the picnic simply ate the squashed strawberries and cream whilst keeping a stiff upper lip. They liked the taste so much that Eton Mess was born.
The meringues were a later addition, giving the dish an appealing crunchy element. Many other fruits can be substituted for strawberries, commonly raspberries, bananas or any combination of them.
Keep the ingredients in the fridge until needed, this is a sweet best served cool.
Break up the meringues into bite sized irregular chunks. Forget baking your own meringues, it's far too much trouble and the shop bought ones are as good quality as home baked meringues.STEP 2
Remove the strawberry stalks and cut the strawberries in half or into thick slices if large. Place half the cut strawberries and all the icing sugar into a blender and blend for 20 seconds into a puree.
Whip the cream until it starts to thicken but hasn't turned solid.STEP 3
Add the meringues to a large bowl, pour in the cream and the strawberries. Add half the puree and stir it all together gently with a spoon. The aim is to get a red / white marbled effect rather than a pink overall colour.
Spoon into serving dishes and drizzle over the remaining strawberry puree. Keep refrigerated until served.STEP 4
Although Eton Mess is traditionally made with strawberries, many recipes use raspberries. Just substitute the same weight of raspberries as strawberries.
The picture below shows our raspberry version. The taste of raspberries has more of a tang, a more "grown up" taste. On balance, we preferred the raspberry Eton Mess. You make your own choice.