Damson mess

This gorgeous damson mess recipe will help you to get through a glut of this beautiful seasonal fruit. Comprised of rich damson sauce, hazelnut meringue and billowing cream, this is the perfect dessert for late summer or autumn.

First published in 2018




Hazelnut meringues

Damson sauce

To serve

  • 400ml of double cream


Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast in the preheated oven for 5–10 minutes, or until golden. Set aside to cool and reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/gas mark 4
Add the egg whites to the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form
Gradually add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition. When all the sugar has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the vinegar and whisk for another 6–8 minutes until the mixture is stiff and glossy
Roughly chop the hazelnuts in half and fold 80g of them gently into the meringue, reserving 20g to garnish
Line a large baking tray with baking paper and dollop large spoonfuls of mixture onto the paper, leaving some space for them to expand in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, remove from the oven and allow to cool
Meanwhile, prepare the damson sauce by placing the damsons and the sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat. When the fruit has completely broken down, pass it through a sieve into a small bowl. Discard the stones and skins
When you are ready to serve, whip the cream until soft peaks form and break up the meringue into bite-size pieces. Loosely fold the meringue into the cream and add a spoonful to a glass serving dish, or individual glasses
Drizzle over some damson sauce and add another layer of cream and meringue mix. Repeat, alternating with meringue and sauce until you have filled the dish or individual glasses
Top with the reserved nuts and serve
First published in 2018

Louise Robinson is a former fashion accessories designer turned freelance food writer, stylist and photographer now based in the Sussex countryside.

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