Need an impromptu dinner party dessert? Look no further than a simple Eton Mess recipe. An easy dessert, the Eton Mess ingredients are composed of whipped cream, crumbled meringues, and macerated berries.
Although this Eton Mess recipe may appear fancy and lavish, the eton mess ingredients are humble, simple, and easy to put together. Layers of whipped cream (or Chantilly Cream), crumbled meringue cookies and macerated fruit (typically strawberries); an eton mess is the complete package when it comes to dessert.
What's Eton Mess?
Eton Mess is a traditional English dessert dating back to the late 1800's. It's creation is linked to Eaton College, and is believed to have originated there. Hence, the name "Eaton." Although in more modern times "eaton mess" has been used by members of the UK's parliament in relation to Brexit, traditionally, the Eton Mess consists of layers of strawberries, bananas, or other Summer time fruit; whipped cream; and meringue.
Although the name "mess" may refer to the appearance of the dessert when plated, Eton Mess ingredients exhibit elegance and beauty, if plated mindfully. Indeed, the balance of textures between the crunchy meringue cookies and the soft whipped cream is divine. We all know strawberries and whipped cream are a match made in heaven, but Eton Mess goes once step further with sweet, crunchy meringue cookie crumbs in every bite.
How to make Eton mess:
- Make a batch of fresh whipped cream. I prefer chantilly cream, so I proceed with the following:
- In a chilled bowl, using the whisk attachment on an electronic mixer, whisk 8oz heavy cream on high until soft peaks form.
- Add ¼ cup of sifted confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar) and a tsp pure vanilla extract. Whisk only until incorporated, do not over-whip.
- Crumble up a package of meringue cookies. You can make a homemade batch of course. A good recipe can be found here.
- Macerate 1 pint of sliced berries with 2 tbsp granulated sugar and the juice of one lemon. Stir and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
- In desired serving dishes: layer whipped cream, crumbled meringues, and macerated strawberries. Repeat until desired height.
- Serve immediately.
Can Eton Mess be made in advance?
You can make this dessert up to 2 hours in advance. The longer it sits, however, the more the whipped cream will begin to deflate and separate. The meringue cookies will lose some of their crunch as well. I suggest making Eton Mess as close to service as able for the best results.
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Eton Mess is lovely for a dinner party. It comes together so quickly and easily, but looks impressive. You can make in individual glasses or as one large trifle. If making one large trifle, you will have to adjust the recipe above to the size of your serving dish.
- 8 oz heavy whipping cream cold
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 pint mixed berries sliced
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 package meringue cookies crumbled
- For the Chantilly Cream: In a chilled bowl, using the whisk attachment on an electronic mixer, whisk 8oz heavy cream on high until soft peaks form. Add sifted confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar) and a tsp pure vanilla extract. Whisk only until incorporated, do not overwhip. In desired serving dishes: layer whipped cream, crumbled meringues, and macerated strawberries. Repeat until desired height.Serve immediately.
- Assembly: Macerate 1 pint of sliced berries with 2 tbsp granulated sugar and the juice of one lemon. Stir and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
- In desired serving dishes: layer Chantilly cream, crumbled meringues, and macerated strawberries. Repeat until desired height. Serve immediately.
- Meringues can be homemade too.
- You can use whatever berries you'd like. You can use all one type or a mix of your favorites.
- Lime juice can be used in place of the lemon.