This strawberries, whipped cream and meringue dessert known as Eton Mess is traditionally served at Eton College’s annual cricket game against the students of Winchester College.
How does one make Eton mess? By making a strawberry syrup and folding it with whipped cream and crushed meringue to get a marbled look.
Some cooks prefer to simply puree the strawberries with sugar in a food processor. I like the syrup the way Tom Norrington Davies did it in Great British Food — by heating the strawberries and sugar together until the strawberries render juices, the sugar melts and a sticky syrup is formed. I also prefer not to puree the strawberries; I like them in chunks for added texture.
- 300 grams fresh strawberries trimmed and halved or quartered (reserve the best ones for garnish)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup crushed meringue measure after crushing them
- 1 cup whipping cream well chilled
- Place the strawberries in a microwaveable bowl.
- Add the sugar and stir.
- Heat in the microwave on HIGH for one and a half minutes. Stir.
- Return to the microwave and heat on HIGH for another one and a half minutes.
- Cool to room temperature then chill the strawberry syrup for at least two hours.
- In a chilled bowl, whip the cream until double in volume.
- Take your meringue. Crush them with your hand. Not into smithereens but into fairly large chunks (see notes after the recipe).
- Dump the crushed meringue into the bowl of whipped cream. Fold gently.
- Pour in the chilled strawberry syrup. Fold — DO NOT OVERMIX — to create a marbled look.
- Spoon your Eton Mess into dessert glasses.
- Top with the reserved whole strawberries.