Monday, March 23, 2015

Eton Mess (Meringue and Fruit Trifle)


It's spring and I love seeing all the berries at the grocery store.   I decided it was a great time to make an Eton Mess!  What is an Eton Mess? Good question.  It's a famous English dessert consisting of berries, cream and bits of meringue cookie.  The dessert is named after a famous college in England called Eton College.  The story goes that a meringue dessert was stepped on by a dog on the way to a picnic at the college.  They salvaged what they could and the "mess" of meringue, cream and strawberries was a hit.

I decided I had to try to make this dessert after I made my meringues kisses.  I simply used a lightly sweetened whipped cream and a mix of fresh blackberries and raspberries instead of strawberries.  Of course you can make it with the traditional strawberries as well. 

The dessert was so light and airy.  I love the bits of meringue in each spoonful to give some texture and crunch to this creamy dessert.  I also loved that I had the bites of raspberries and blackberries to give a tart edge to the sweet dessert. 

I can see why this dessert has been made again and again over the years.  It maybe called a mess, but it's one delicious mess.

Fresh whipped Cream (see recipe below)
2 cups Fresh raspberries and blackberries
20 Meringue-Kisses (some broken) 

Fresh Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs powdered sugar

Recipe for Meringue-Kisses

Chill bowl in freezer for 10-15 minutes to get nice and cold.  Then place heavy cream  and sugar in stand mixer (or use a handheld electric mixer).   Whip until it forms a stiff peak about 2-3 minutes on high.  ** Careful not to over whip or you will start to make butter. 

Note:  I decided not to make my whipped cream too sweet.  I was pairing them up with very sweet meringues so I did not want an overly sweet dessert.  If you like things on the sweeter side increase your sugar to 4 Tbs. 

 To assemble Eton Mess:  First place a dollop of the whipped cream at the bottom of each trifle dish.  I used individual trifle dishes, but you can make one big trifle as well.  Then place some broken pieces of meringue and follow them up with cream and berries.  

Note:  I decided to keep my berries fresh and not macerate them with sugar.  If you like a sweeter dessert, feel free to macerate them with sugar and a tablespoon of lemon juice.  Then crush them with a fork first to break down the berries. 

Repeat process of layering until you top it off with more cream and berries.  Garnish with more whole meringues, berries and mint.  Serve immediately or chill up to 2 hours.  Enjoy.  

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