Eton Mess – a mix of strawberry halves, soft whipped cream and crushed meringue.
Prepares: 4 servings
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Standing times: 30 minutes
- If also making the meringue shells:
- Extra time needed for preparation: 10 minutes
- Cooking time: for the meringue shells: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus 2 hours cooling in the oven
- 450g (1 lb) strawberries (a quart or large punnet)
- 1 tbsp caster/white sugar
- 1 tbsp Grand Marnier (optional)
- 6 small meringue shells*
- 284ml carton double cream/whipping or heavy cream
- *This dish is a great way to use up any left over meringue shells. However, if making them especially for this dish, follow the recipe below and prepare them first.
- For the meringues
- 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
- 115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (1 cup + 1 tbsp)
- You will need 4 glass dessert dishes
- For the meringues
- Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1)
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until stiff and glossy.
- Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Dab a little meringue on each corner of the baking sheet to keep the lining in place.
- Spoon 6 mounds of meringue onto the baking paper. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the meringue shells lift easily from the paper. Turn off the oven but leave the meringue shells inside for a further 2 hours to dry out completely. You will only need four of them for this recipe.
- For the Eton Mess
- Wash, hull, and halve or quarter the strawberries so they are all of a similar size. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle over the sugar. Drizzle with the Grand Marnier, if using. Then mix gently and leave for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Now in a separate bowl, break the meringue shells into bite-sized pieces.
- Next whip the cream in a large bowl until it just forms soft peaks. It should still fall from a spoon.
- Put 20 strawberry halves and about a quarter of the broken meringue pieces to one side for decoration.
- Then gently fold the rest of the meringue into the cream and, just using a few strokes, fold the strawberries and their juice into the cream.
- Divide between the glass dishes and top each dish with an equal quantity of the reserved strawberry halves and meringue.
- Serve immediately.
Updated: June 8, 2018