Frozen Meringue Cream with Summer Berry Compote

Berries and Cream 2.0

Summer Berry Compote and Frozen Whipped Cream

Who doesn’t like berries and whipped cream for a simple summer dessert? Sweet, freshly picked summer berries and cream are the height of ease and good flavor, and a combination I rely on throughout the summer season. Sometimes, though, if I want to up the presentation a notch, I make this frozen dessert. The good news is that this version is also easy to make, and it should be prepared at least 8 hours in advance of serving, so it’s a great do-ahead dessert when entertaining.

To make it, I fold crumbled store-bought meringues into the whipped cream and freeze the cream in a loaf pan. The meringues add a nice light crunch and a jolt of sugar to the cream. Once frozen, the “loaf” can be sliced and served with fresh berries spooned on top. It’s fresh, light, and luscious, and always a crowd pleaser.

To make the frozen cream, first lightly oil the loaf pan, and then line it with plastic wrap. This allows for easy removal from the pan once frozen. The whipped cream is delicate, so should only be frozen for 8 to 24 hours. Once the loaf is removed from the pan and sliced, eat it immediately, because the cream will quickly begin to soften. Also, in the past I’ve added berries to the loaf, but I find that they remain frozen while the cream softens, which is not ideal for eating, so I spoon fresh berries, or, in this case, a compote over the top. 

Iced Meringues and Cream with Berry Compote

Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes, plus freezing time and cooling time
Serves 8.

Iced Meringue Cream:
3 ounces meringues, divided
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sifted confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 pound fresh berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Lightly oil a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Line with plastic wrap, leaving a 3-inch overhang on all sides. Crumble 1/3 of the meringues, leaving large chunks intact, and spread over the bottom of the pan.

2. Beat the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until traces of the whisk appear. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until soft peaks form.

3. Crumble the remaining meringues and gently fold into the cream. Pour into the pan and spread the cream evenly on top. Cover with the plastic overhang, and then cover the pan entirely with another piece of plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight.

4. Prepare the compote: Combine the berries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves and the berries break down and release their juices, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

5. To serve, remove the frozen meringue cream from the freezer. Unwrap the plastic and invert the cream onto a serving platter. Remove any remaining plastic. Cut into serving slices and serve with the compote spooned over each slice.

Strawberry Mess

Strawberry Fool

~ 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.

If you like this, you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Simple Strawberry Cake
Lemon Bars
Yogurt Parfaits with Rhubarb Compote