A classic English dessert made with juicy berries, fresh whipped cream, and crisp vanilla meringue. Please note that the recipe has options to either simply macerate your berries or to cook them into a sauce. Either option will work fine, but I demonstrate cooking the berries in the video since it's a bit more complicated.
Prep Time 10 minutesminutes
Cook Time 10 minutesminutes
Time to make meringue cookies 3 hourshours
Total Time 3 hourshours20 minutesminutes
Servings 8servings (this will vary depending on your serving glasses)
Small trifle glasses for serving (I like to use stemless wine glasses). You can really make Eton mess in any size dish you would like, or even set out the separate components in large bowls and allow your guests to portion as much cream/meringue and berry sauce into individual bowls to suit their taste and desired portion size.
1batchmeringue cookiesclick the link for the recipe (or you may substitute store-bought meringue cookies)
2lbs(907g)strawberrieshulled and quartered, divided
Prepare meringue cookies at least 3 hours in advance of beginning (I like to prepare mine a day in advance). Set aside.
1 batch meringue cookies
To prepare berry layer, combine 2 cups (about 300g) of quartered strawberries (please note this is not all of your berries, only 2 cups. Reserve the remaining berries, you'll need them shortly), sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepan.
Stir until ingredients are well-combined. Turn stovetop heat to medium/medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until berries release their juices.
Continue to cook (still stirring constantly) until mixture begins to boil and slightly thickens.
Remove from heat and stir in your remaining berry slices. Allow mixture to cool completely before using in Eton mess.
Prepare whipped cream by combining cold heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
2 cups heavy cream, ½ cup powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Use an electric mixer to beat until thick, fluffy, and stiff peaks have been reached. If not using immediately, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Note: do not assemble Eton mess until you are ready to serve. Place your meringue cookies in a large ziploc bag and use your hands or a rolling pin to crush them into bite-sized or smaller pieces.
Add approximately ⅔ of the meringue pieces (no need to measure, just an approximation is fine) into the whipped cream and use a spatula to fold together.
Dollop a spoonful of the whipped cream/meringue mixture into the bottom of a (preferably chilled) trifle glass. Sprinkle a spoonful (I use about a Tablespoon) of the remaining crushed meringue over the whipped cream mixture. Top with a generous spoonful of the berry mixture. Repeat until trifle glass is full. Serve immediately.
¹I like to cook my berries into a sauce for a flavorful Eton mess, especially if my berries aren't particularly ripe. However, traditional Eton mess recipes simply macerate the berries. If you prefer to do this, skip the instructions and ingredients listed for the "Berries" and simply hull and quarter 2 lbs of berries and toss with ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar and allow them to sit until juicy (about 30 minutes) before using.