This autumnal Eton mess recipe draws on the mellow flavours and bountiful produce of the season to create a dessert that lights up the orange-hued months no end. The glazed figs and poached pears add a new dimension to the flavours of this dish, as well as bringing a touch of colour.  Use a mixture of brown and white sugar for the meringue if you desire a molasses like flavouring

For the lemon curd, combine the lemon juice, sugar and eggs in a bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and whisk continuously until a thick ribbon forms
The ribbon refers to the physical properties of a thickened liquid and its ability to hold on the surface. A thin ribbon will be visible and hold on the surface for 1-2 seconds, a thick ribbon will be visible and hold on the surface for 5 seconds or more. It is often referred to when making batters, custards or creams
Continue to whisk while slowly adding the butter in small amounts. Once the butter is completely incorporated into the mix, allow to cool slightly before transferring into a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle
For the poached pears, combine the tea, sugar and water in a pan and stir to dissolve. Place the pan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes
Peel, core and cut the pears into 4 wedges. Remove the tea bags and add the pears to the pan, reheat until simmering. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the pears to cool in the liquid. Store the pears in the liquid until required
For the meringue, whisk the egg whites, vanilla and a pinch of salt until medium peaks form. Slowly sprinkle in the sugar and continue to whisk until stiff and glossy
Using old vanilla pods
Once the seeds have been used from the pod, store the left over in sugar or brandy to infuse and extract the flavour for use in other recipes
Preheat the oven to 90˚C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Spread the meringue in a thin layer across the baking tray and place into the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until lightly golden
Wash the blackberries and add half to a small pan with the sugar and 50ml of water. Warm the blackberries over a medium heat and gently crush until the mixture starts to boil
Remove from the heat and push through a fine strainer to remove the seeds. Cut the other punnet of blackberries in half, add the creme de mere and strained liquid and macerate the berries until required
Trim the stems from the figs and cut into 4 wedges. Dust with icing sugar and glaze with a blow torch (or under a hot grill) until a deep golden brown colour. Place on a baking tray and warm through in the oven for a few minutes
To arrange the Eton mess, place some of the blackberries at the base of each glass and pipe over the lemon curd to cover. Slice the pears finely and arrange on top of the curd
Next, crush the meringue and sprinkle over the pears. Top with the warm figs and a dusting of icing sugar. Serve
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Wine Matching

Find out why we suggest matching this Autumn Eton mess recipe with a sweet white wine


Lemon curd


Poached pears

  • 2 Comice pears
  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 700ml of water
  • 150g of caster sugar


Glazed figs


  1. Low ball or short glasses
  2. Blow torch

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Thought Eton mess was a dish best served in summer? Think again. Geoffrey Smeddle creates an autumnal Eton mess using figs, pears and blackberries

Autumn Eton mess recipe Tweaks

What's this?
need a nutty crispy texture! maybe to sweet as it is now! Add roasted chopped walnuts .
4 February 2013