Eton Mess is a traditional British dessert which consists of meringues, delicious fresh strawberries and soft cream, however over the years many people have substituted other types of fruit in this dessert.
In addition, many people have come up with their own versions of Eton Mess, which is why you may come across different recipes for the same dessert in your research.
The History of Eton Mess
Eton Mess was created at the famous English Eton College in Windsor England, and was traditionally served at the school’s annual prize giving celebration every 4th of June. Eton College was founded in 1440 by King Henry IV and has a long list of distinguished pupils, including Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William.
This particular dessert has been known by the name “Eton Mess” since the 19th century. According to Recipes from The Dairy by Robin Weir, Eton mess was served at the school in the 1930s and was originally created with either strawberries or bananas. The fruit was mixed with ice-cream or cream, according to the librarian at Eton College’s. Meringue was added later on, and is believed to be by a chef and author by the name of Michael Smith. The recipe was featured in his book Fine English Cookery in 1973. .
The name Eton Mess was taken from two parts; the first word Eton was obviously taken from Eton College, where the dessert originated. The word mess refers to the appearance of the dish, as its appearance is not very tidy. In addition, the word mess also refers to a mixture of ingredients that are either cooked together, eaten together or both.
The Eton Mess recipe is very easy recipe to make, and is great for people who are hesitant to use meringue. The meringue in this recipe is broken up into small pieces, therefore it does not matter if they crack, collapse or break. This particular recipe is a reflection of the English inspired strawberry and cream dessert. Always remember to make the meringues the day before serving the pudding, for optimal taste and texture.
For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:
6 oz (175 g) of golden caster sugar
3 large egg whites
1 lb (450 g) of fresh strawberries, hulled
1 rounded tablespoon of unrefined icing sugar
1 pint (570 ml) of double cream
Step 1: First you will need to measure out the caster sugar, and then place the egg whites in a clean bowl. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks that slightly tip over when you bring up the whisk. You will then need to add the previously measured caster sugar, however do not add it too fast. Only add approximately a tablespoon of caster sugar at a time, and continue to whisk until the added ingredients are thoroughly mixed in.
Step 2: Next you will need to scoop out round spoonfuls of the mixture and place them in the backing tray. Make sure to place them in neat rows on the baking tray, in order to avoid a larger mess.
Step 3: Turn the oven on to 275°F (140°C), and carefully place the baking tray in the oven. You will need to bake for one hour.
Step 3: Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to dry out in the oven overnight.
Step 4: Make the pudding by chopping half of the strawberries, and blending them together in a blender with the icing sugar. Whiz it into a purée, and then sift out the strawberry seeds.
Step 5: Next you will need to cut up the remainder of the strawberries and whip up the double cream. Break up the meringues into small pieces, approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) will suffice and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped strawberries into the mixing bowl, and then fold the cream in and around the strawberries.
Step 6: Finally, you will need to fold in all except for two tablespoons of the purée to give a marbled effect. Next place everything into a serving dish, and spoon the rest of the purée over the surface.
You now have a traditional Eton Mess dessert! Feed your friends and family, and try this recipe until you have perfected it.