~ Strawberries, Whipped Cream, Mascarpone, Meringue ~
Sometimes presentation is overrated. Eton Mess is a British dessert that’s an unapologetic mishmash of fruit, cream and crumbled meringues turned about and plunked in a glass or bowl. It’s the kind of mix that appeals to kids and adults alike. Its messy appearance belies its swoonworthy results with gently sweetened and ethereal whipped cream punctuated by juicy strawberries and crisp bits of sugary meringue. You can’t go wrong with this recipe which is a great way to highlight summer’s fresh berries. The only effort required is a little cream-whipping – and trying not to get too carried away with licking the spoon.
Strawberry (Eton) Mess
For a little variation, I’ve added mascarpone to the whipped cream, which adds extra(!) richness and more body to the cream.
Serves 4 to 6.
1 pound (500 g) strawberries
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream
8 ounces (125 g) mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 (3-inch) meringue shells or 12 meringue buttons, coarsely crumbled
Set aside 3 unblemished strawberries. Hull and quarter the remaining berries. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Turn to coat then set aside.
Whip the cream and mascarpone in bowl of electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until beginning to thicken. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat until soft peaks form. Fold the quartered strawberries into the cream, then fold in the meringues with any fine sugary dust. Spoon into glasses or serving bowls. Cut reserved strawberries in half lengthwise and arrange on top of cream as garnish.