Classically old school and always included on any list of British strawberry desserts. Eton mess has been traditionally served at Eton College in London since the 1930's, typically during cricket matches.
This dessert is so easy to assemble. If you can use an electric whisk, then you can enjoy this British classic.
Meringues, either store bought or homemade (I like to make my own) are broken up in to large pieces then layered with sweetened whipped cream and fresh strawberries. If you have time to make ahead, try and make your own meringues, if not, store bought will work just fine.
If you choose to make meringues, don’t be intimidated. To be honest, I had not made them before making this dessert and they came out right the first time. If you use room temperature egg whites and whip them in a very clean bowl (the bowl must be clean to ensure the whites whip up as fluffy as possible) until they are stiff, you can’t go wrong.
I piped them into a pretty shape using a large star tip, but you can also just spoon mounds onto a parchment covered baking sheet. They are then baked in a low, 200-degree oven because they need to be crisp, but not browned.
The next time you entertain; wow your guests with this dessert. It can be assembled ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve and it's the perfect way to finish off a meal.
So you’re probably wondering what the mess part of the dessert is? This dessert can be assembled however you like, usually messy (hence the name) by mixing the strawberries with the cream and layering with the meringue.
I'm all about presentation (because you eat with your eyes first) and there's nothing very messy about my offering, but however you present it, it tastes good and goes down well.
Looking for more great British recipes? Check out my other recipes on Food Fanatic.
For the Meringues:
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 cup fine granulated sugar
For the Eton Mess:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 10 ounces strawberries, cut in half
For the Meringues:
- Preheat oven to 200°F with the rack in the center and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To a very stand mixer bowl (or bowl using hand whisk) add the eggs whites and beat until they start to stiffen.
- Add the sugar in small batches and continue to beat until stiff. When you turn the bowl upside down, it should not move.
- Spoon or pipe mounds evenly spaced onto the baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour.
For the Eton Mess
- While the meringues are baking, add the whipping cream and sugar to a bowl and whisk until stiff. Refrigerate.
- When the meringues are done remove and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, break a handful into the bottom of a bowl and layer with whipped cream and strawberries.
- Repeat and finish with strawberries and meringue on top.
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