This traditional Eton mess recipe is a sumptuous, indulgent, sticky mess of crunchy meringue, tart strawberries and rich cream. Conributed by Geoffrey Smeddle at The Peat Inn, this summer dessert is a pefect indulgence for afternoon tea

Method
1.
Begin the Eton mess by preheating the oven to 110°C and line 2 trays with parchment paper. Place the egg whites and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and begin to whip with a light wire whisk - do not use a heavy, thick whisk as this will knock out air faster than you can whip it in
2.
As you whisk, gradually let the sugar drift into the whites little by little so that, by the end of whisking, you have stiff whites which have all the sugar added by the time you are nearing the end of whisking
3.
Next, use a spatula to spread the whipped whites over the trays. For an Eton mess, the meringue will be crushed up later, so the shape is not too important
4.
Once fully spread, transfer to the oven to dry out and crisp. This can take several hours, but check it after the first hour then every half hour or so thereafter depending on your oven
5.
You can remove the meringue when it sounds hollow and brittle when you tap it
6.
Place the cream in a mixer with a whisk attachment then whip gently, taking care not to over-whip
7.
If you wish you can add vanilla seeds and icing sugar into the mixer
8.
Add half the strawberries to the cream and stir in. Break up the meringue into rough one-inch-sized bits, and add most (but not all) of the meringue to the cream
9.
Layer up the cream in glasses (tumblers or Martini glasses will work), alternating layers of the cream with some of the leftover strawberries and meringue
10.
Finish the Eton mess with some of the strawberries and a crunchy topping of meringue then serve at once
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Ingredients

Eton mess meringue

Eton mess

  • 500g of strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 500ml of double cream, well chilled
  • 1 tbsp of icing sugar

Equipment

  1. Food processor with a whisk attachment

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This traditional Eton mess recipe is a spectacular summer dessert. Geoffrey Smeddle's Eton mess is a delicious mélange of fresh strawberries and vanilla meringue.

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