Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nigella Lawson's Eton Mess

Can I just say, England in the springtime is magnificent. I just got back from our big family vacation to the jolly ol' UK, where we had a wonderful time visiting family and seeing the sights. There's just something about the English atmosphere that seeps into your blood and makes you want to say strange words(like 'loo' and 'ello! oright?') and take long walks in the countryside. Really and truly, there was more than one occasion when I felt like I'd been transported to a Jane Austen movie(yes! I saw her house, and went to Winchester Cathedral where her grave is). And of course, I ate lots and lots of yummy things. Hey now, don't act so surprised. I know the English don't have the best reputation where food is concerned, but there are some things that are just so so good. Banoffee Pie(a banana toffee pie). Any pastry. Scones with clotted cream and jam. All meat pies. Custard over anything. And, Eton Mess. A name that describes how this dessert looks, but doesn't even begin to give you the big picture in the taste department. It's an inspired combination of macerated berries, whipped cream, and broken meringue cookies, all thrown together in a big, heaping mess. This amazing dessert has creaminess, crunch, freshness. If you want a fabulously elegant dessert that is minimum work, here you go. Really, you can't go wrong with this one. Yes, you should make this for Easter tomorrow.

Eton Mess

Prep Time:10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings
4 cups strawberries
2 teaspoons caster or vanilla sugar
2 teaspoons pomegranate juice
2 cups whipping cream
1 packet individual meringue nests

Hull and chop the strawberries and put into a bowl and add the sugar and pomegranate juice and leave to macerate while you whip the cream.

Whip the cream in a large bowl until thick but still soft. Roughly crumble in 4 of the meringues nests - you will need chunks for texture as well as a little fine dust.

Take out about half a cupful of the chopped strawberries, and fold the meringue cream and rest of the fruit mixture together.

Arrange on 4 serving plates or glasses or in a mound, and top each with some of the remaining macerated strawberries.

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