Eton Mess

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)

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

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