If you’re like me, you have read your fair share of books about England. Starting with Jane Austin, I’m committed to all things British. I don’t necessarily want to experience all things British, but I do enjoy reading about the British experience, and if boarding schools are discussed, Eton Mess is mentioned. I’ve been having so much fun making meringues, I decided to give it a try.
A word of warning regarding the meringues: I had a new sous chef helping me this weekend. He brought much enthusiasm to the job. As a result, many egg yolks were broken. If you remember the Pavlova recipe, you will know 4 egg whites are called for. We used 12. If you have an overly strong helper, consider breaking each egg individually into a small bowl and then separating the white into the mixing bowl, then if a yolk breaks you’ve only wreaked one egg. We did have some delicious omelets, but the sous chef got quite frustrated and it took a lot of the fun out of the baking experience for him.
But, I’ve digressed again. I am a huge meringue fan. They are light and refreshing. I had a beautifully ripened mango on the counter and I was very tempted to use it instead of the raspberries. Maybe next time. Considering this is basically 3 components, it tastes much more complex than that: soft sweetened whipped cream, crunchy meringue, tart berries. A match made in English heaven.
This is Ina Garten’s Eton Mess recipe. It makes a huge amount. But after typing that, I realize it’s not too much, because it’s so dang good.
6 (6-ounce) packages fresh raspberries, divided
1 1/2 cups plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons framboise liqueur (or not)
2 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 to 6 (3-inch) bakery meringue shells, broken in pieces (I used homemade)
- Pour 3 packages of the raspberries, 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, and the lemon juice into a 10-inch saute pan. Crush the berries lightly with a fork and bring the mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is syrupy. Fold the remaining 3 packages of raspberries and the framboise into the hot mixture and refrigerate until very cold.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream, the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and the vanilla together on medium-high speed until it forms firm peaks.
- In decorative glasses, layer a spoonful of the whipped cream, a spoonful of the raspberry mixture, and then a few meringue pieces. Repeat once or twice, depending on the size of the glasses, until the glasses are full, ending with berries and a dollop of cream. Serve immediately or chill for an hour, until ready to serve.
- Or be a total lazy butt and use broken meringues, whipped cream and good raspberry jam. It’s all good.
and remember: Learn from all, judge no one, be kind to everyone and remember to say thank you. Big kiss, Lynn