Monday, 28 October 2013

Raspberry Eton Mess

Eton Mess is a traditional English dessert consisting of strawberries, broken-up meringues and whipped cream.

There are many conflicting stories on where the dessert got its name, but one thing that is not in doubt is how delicious it is in its simplicity. The dish has been known as Eton Mess since the 19th Century, named after Eton College where it was served at the school’s annual cricket game against Harrow College.

I have a particular fondness for fresh raspberries, so that is what I tend to use, but it goes without saying that there are loads of variations to the basic dessert. It is most famously made using strawberries but Autumn blackberries are also delicious.

You can use shop-bought meringues, but I regularly have home-made meringues lurking around the place, so that’s what I use. Essentially what I am trying to show you is that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making Eton Mess. Basically, I recommend experimenting using different fruits and whatever is in season! You can also ring the changes by including a splash of alcohol such as brandy or use some fruit flavoured liqueurs. A few toasted nuts are also a nice addition.

I have kept it simple here and just used raspberries, meringues and some softly whipped cream. Don’t overwork the mixture when combining everything.  You want to achieve a “messy” appearance where the different elements retain some of their individual qualities!

Ingredients:

250mls single cream
1 punnet of raspberries
3 or 4 meringues
 

Method:

1. Whisk the cream until it holds its shape in soft peaks. Do not over-whisk it.
2. Roughly crush the meringues into bite sized pieces. Crush a few of the raspberries but leave some whole as well.
3. Fold the raspberries and broken meringues into the cream and pile into individual glass serving bowls. Do try to use glass bowls because then you see the full “messy” effect.

Serves 4