Most unusual name for a delicious and royal dessert.
When I first heard someone talking about this dessert, I thought I heard “eaten mess”. Of course this wasn’t right and I’m just getting over an ear infection and thought my hearing was going for sure. So, I started a search. I googled (what would we do without google?) “eaten mess” and came up with Eton Mess. A dessert fit for the Royals.
Last week I got so caught up in the wedding of Kate and William. When all of this started with the engagement several months ago, I really didn’t think I would be watching with enthusiasm every little news sniblet that hit the TV. But, I was wrong and it wasn’t long before I was watching every movie and program that came on about Princess Di to what the dress, cake and food might be like for Kate and William’s wedding. And, yes, I did get up at 3:00 a.m. last Friday to start watching all the coverage.
What little girl doesn’t love Cinderella and the fairy tale ending. I loved The Officer and a Gentleman where Richard Gere rushed in at the end of the movie and swept up the fair maiden and off they go into the sunset. I love happy endings and if I don’t like the way a movie ends, I rewrite it in my mind to end the way I want to see the final scenes.
Eton Mess is an English dessert that starts with torn meringue cookies mixed with whipped cream and strawberries and layered with a raspberry sauce. This dessert is traditionally served at Eton College’s annual cricket game against Winchester College. The dish has been known by this name since the 19th century. You can use any type summer fruit but the strawberry is the traditional way of preparing this light and summery dessert. I added the raspberry sauce to the layers. Good twist.
I’m serving mine in my vintage champagne glasses I got when we were married 42 years ago. I guess that makes me vintage, or almost. I love the bowl type champagne glasses for drinking champagne, serving desserts or even using as a small table decorations holding a little fern and a few flowers.
12 oz. pkg. frozen raspberries
1 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sugar plus 6 tablespoons, separate
1 /2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp.. Chambord (raspberry flavored liqueur), optional
1 2/3 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4-6 meringue shells, broken in pieces
Put the raspberries, Chambord, 1/2 cup sugar, and lemon juice into a saute pan. Crush the berries with a fork and bring to a full boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the mixture is syrupy.
Add 3 tablespoons of the sugar to the sliced strawberries and refrigerate until you are ready to put together your desserts.
Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the cream, the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, and the vanilla together on medium high speed until you have stiff peaks. By hand, fold the broken meringue pieces into the whipped cream.
In your champagne or dessert glasses, layer the whipped cream/meringue mixture, strawberries, raspberry mixture. Repeat until your glasses are full, ending with a few strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream. Garnish with a piece of mint.
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For cookies: Preheat oven to 200° and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla extract. The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your fingers it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty, keep beating a little longer.
Using two spoons, place 10 mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake meringues for approximately 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours, rotating the sheets about half way through to ensure even baking. The meringues are done when they are pale in color and fairly crisp. Turn off the oven, open the door a crack and leave the meringues in the over to finish drying overnight.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for several days.