One of the best reasons to make Eton Mess, the trendy English dessert made with broken meringues, whipped cream, and fresh berries, is that it conjures up childhood memories of making mud pies in the back yard; the messier the better. It’s also very easy and quick to make, since there’s no cooking or baking involved. It’s delicious, too, and is great for summer because it’s so light. Eton Mess is similar to the classic Australian dessert, pavlova, but where pavlova has a neat round meringue disc to hold the whipped cream and fruit, Eton Mess uses up the broken meringues and messy fruit.
Although it seems to be a popular food trend at present, Eton Mess is a traditional English dessert that has been served in the UK since the 19th century during the annual cricket tournament between Eaton College and Winchester College. According to sources on the web, the word “mess” may mean a “mess” of fruit, meringue, and cream, but most think it means a “mess” as in messy. Eton Mess can be made in a single layer in a shallow bowl, layered in a trifle bowl, or layered in individual fancy glasses as in this recipe. While the traditional fruit in Eton Mess is strawberries, it is often made with seasonal fruit – the following recipe is made with a mixture of fresh berries.
Meringues are available at most bakeries, but if there is an excess of egg whites, they can be easily made at home.
4 cups fresh berries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon berry liqueur, or orange juice
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 cups broken meringues
fresh berries, for garnish
fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- Mash the berries with the sugar and liqueur; set aside. It's easiest if they are put in the food processor and pulsed a few times - you don't want them to be pureed; they still need to be a little chunky.
- Whip the heavy cream in a mixing bowl until soft peaks form; sprinkle in the powdered sugar and continue beating until the cream is stiff.
- Place a layer of broken meringues in a decorative parfait or fancy glass. Top with a layer of whipped cream, then berries.
- Add the remaining meringues, top with whipped cream and berries, then cover with the remaining whipped cream.
- Run a knife down the edges of the desserts to swirl slightly.
- Garnish with whipped cream and mint leaves.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 413 Calories from Fat 270
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 65% Protein 2% Carb. 31%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 30 g
Saturated Fat 18 g
Cholesterol 109 mg
Sodium 32 mg
Total Carbohydrate 32 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 8 g
Protein 3 g
Vitamin A 24% Vitamin C 145% Calcium 0% Iron 4%