- Preparation time: 20 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 cooling in the oven
- 450 g (1 lb) strawberries (about 3 cups)
- 284 ml (9 fl oz) carton double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1⅛ cups)
- 1 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
- 4 small meringues shells*
- a few mint leaves, finely shredded for decoration
- *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
- 115 g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1 cup + 1 tbsp)
- You will also need 4 sundae glasses.
For a Tipsy Eton Mess
- as above, plus:
- 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
- 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.
- Now line a baking tray/sheet with baking parchment. Dabbing a little meringue on each corner of the baking tray/sheet first will keep the lining in place.
- Spoon 6 mounds of meringue onto the baking paper.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, until the meringues shells lift easily from the paper.
- Turn off the oven but leave the meringue shells inside to completely dry out while the oven is cooling down.
- Now while you are waiting for the meringues to cool in the oven, the strawberries can be prepared.
- Note that you will only need four of the shells for this recipe.
- For the Eton Mess
- Wash, pat dry and hull the strawberries.
- Halve or quarter them so they are all of a similar size.
- Place them in a large bowl and sprinkle over the sugar.
- If making a Tipsy Eton Mess, add the Grand Marnier now.
- Then mix gently and leave for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Break the meringue shells into bite-sized pieces.
- Next whip the cream in a large bowl until it 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 in the strawberries and their juice.
- Divide between the glass dishes and top each dish with an equal quantity of the reserved strawberry halves and meringue.
- Finally sprinkle over the shredded mint leaves, if using.
- Serve immediately.