Eton Mess is a traditional British dessert consisting of strawberries, meringue, and cream simply squished together. Any collection of strawberry recipes must include one. The dish was traditionally served at Eton College but how it came to have the name is not clear.
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One story goes that a Labrador dog sat on a picnic basket in the back of a car and squashed a strawberry and meringue dessert, and the favorite was born.
Nonetheless, the resulting dish is one of Britain's all-time favorites and that's no wonder with such wonderful ingredients. The technique is simple: break up the meringue, whip the cream, puree half the strawberries and chop the rest, mix and presto! With such a winning recipe, it is no surprise there are now many variations of this classic British dish.
Simple to make and delicious to eat, this classic Eton Mess is made with fresh strawberries, cream, and meringue.
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Strawberries are the traditional fruit in a classic Eton Mess. In this variation–the Rhubarb Eton Mess–the cream and meringue are there, but the strawberries are replaced with lovely roasted rhubarb. Even if you do not have the time to roast the rhubarb, you can still poach it and use in the same way.
Do you want more alternatives for rhubarb?
Variations on this recipe include adding a little ( ½ tsp) grated fresh ginger or finely chopped stem ginger to the rhubarb while roasting.
The beauty of the Eton Mess dessert is you can actually use any soft summer fruit, such as raspberries, blueberries, apricots, blackberries, etc.
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Are you in a rush but need to make an Eton Mess? Don't worry; store-bought ones are fine to use. If, however, you fancy making your own meringue, they are very easy. Preparation time is quick; cooking takes a while but that time is in the oven, leaving you to get on with other things.
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Jazz up the Cream on Your Classic Eton Mess
To create even more flavor, switch the standard whipped cream for a scented cream. A great cream that works well with many soft fruits is an elderflower cream.
- Place 400 mL cream and 50 g. icing/powder sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat to soft peaks using an electric or hand whisk.
- Carefully fold in 3 to 4 tbsp. elderflower cordial to taste.