Eton mess is a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries broken meringue and whipped heavy cream. First mentioned in print in 1893, it is commonly believed to originate from Eton College and is served at the annual cricket match against the pupils of Harrow School.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb. 2 oz. strawberries, hulls removed
  • 14 fl. oz. double cream (heavy whipping)
  • 3 x 3 inch ready-made meringue nests, crushed
  • Sprigs of fresh mint, to garnish

Directions:

  1. Purée half the strawberries in a blender.
  2. Chop the remaining strawberries, reserving four for decoration.
  3. Whip the double cream until stiff peaks form, then fold in the strawberry purée and crushed meringue.
  4. Fold in the chopped strawberries and ginger cordial, if using.
  5. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into four cold wine glasses.
  6. Serve garnished with the remaining strawberries and a sprig of mint.

Eton Mess variations:

Tropical Eton Mess: Instead of strawberries, stir in the flesh of a mango (chopped into bite-size pieces) and the pulp of three passion fruits.

Chocolate and Cherry Eton Mess: Use a punnet of cherries (destoned and halved) instead of strawberries and stir in two chocolate brownies, crumbled into pieces. Scatter a few toasted almonds on top.

Peach, pistachio and Honey Eton Mess: Replace the strawberries with two ripe peaches. Top each portion with a sprinkling of pistachio nuts and a drizzle of honey. Particularly good with the half cream/half Greek yoghurt mix.