Ultimate British Eton Mess

{Melissa} When I lived in London last year I completely fell in love with this sweet treat! I discovered it when a friend took me to the Borough Market and after sipping the best coffee e.v.e.r at Monmouth I wandered to the next door bakery. There is was – a simple but perfect dessert made of layered crumbled meringue, whipped cream and strawberries, topped with fresh mint. Somewhere in these simple ingredients: the mix of the luscious cream, crunchy meringue bits and fresh fruit I have found heaven in my mouth!

Because I really miss London these days, I wanted to make the ultimate British Eton Mess. Therefore I sticked to the original treat but gave it a fun twist! So… I spiked the strawberries in this Eton Mess with Pimm’s! For those who aren’t familiar to Pimm’s, it’s a gin based british liqueur. It’s traditionally served as a drink with lemonade, cucumber, strawberries, oranges and fresh mint. In my mind, it’s the perfect mix in between lemonade and Mojitos! If you do not have Pimm’s you can simply do the non-alcoholic version or spike your whip cream with another alcohol perhaps like mint cream or Bailey’s? You’re the boss! Finally, since Pimm’s & lemonade is like peanut butter &  jelly I decided to push the recipe a bit further and make pink lemonade meringue!

The fun thing with Eton Mess? The base ingredients can really become a canvas to your imagination! Replace the fruits by more seasonal options like a rhubarb compote or with whatever is available to you… it could even me any jam or marmalade that’s in the fridge! Here’s some more ideas:

Meringue part

  • make homemade meringue and flavor them as you wish: cocoa powder, rum, instant coffee, mint extract, etc.
  • do half  meringue half of your favorite cookie like Oreos or wafers
  • simply buy meringues at your local bakery!

Cream part

  • replace half by non-fat greek yogurt
  • replace half by mascarpone cheese
  • replace all by soft ice cream
  • flavor the whipped cream with spices like cardamom
  • spike the whipped cream with your favorite alcohol

Fruit part

  • replace strawberries by your favorite fruits: pomegranate, passionfruit, mangos, pineapples, etc.
  • replace fresh fruits by frozen if not in season
  • replace fresh fruits by jam or marmalade
  • macerate the strawberries in juice or alcohol

Top

  • Add chocolate shavings
  • Add coconut shavings
  • Add pistachios or other nuts

Some recipe fold the fruit mix with the cream, I prefer them layered separately. I also enjoy serving it in a jar or cup because it’s pretty and it’s easier to layer. Then again, you could mix everything up and make more of a pudding. Just play with this recipe!

Pink Lemonade Hard Meringues

  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup fine white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 individual pack of Crystal Light pink lemonade
  1. Heat oven at 100°C (200F).
  2. Beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
  3. Add cream of tartar and salt and beat until soft, bubbly peaks form.
  4. At high speed beat in the sugar, 1 tsp at a time, VERY SLOWLY. Continue beating between each addition.
  5. When the mixture becomes glossy add the pack of pink lemonade powder and vanilla. The texture should be smooth & glossy, with peaks that stand straight up.
  6. Add some pink or red food colorant 1 drop at a time. 1 or 2 drops should be enough.
  7. Pipe onto parchment-covered sheets.
  8.  Bake for about an hour, the meringues should be crisp and dry when they are done. *It could take a bit more time depending on the size on our meringues. Keep your eyes on them because they turn brown quickly!
  9. Turn off the oven and leave the door slightly open to let them dry out for another hour.

Eton Mess

  • 4 cups of fresh strawberries
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3-5 tsp Pimm’s (as much you need to macerate all the strawberries)
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • A dozen small hard meringues
  1. Mix the Pimm’s and sugar.
  2. Chop the strawberries, pour the Pimm’s mixture and macerate for 10-15 min.
  3. Whip the cream with vanilla extract (add sugar if you would like).
  4. Crumble meringue in rough chunks.
  5. Layer cream – meringue – fruits (how many times your serving jar permits) and top with fresh mint.

You would like to do the Pimm’s Eton Mess recipe without making your meringues? Just infuse your whipped cream with 1 tsp of Crystal Light Pink Lemonade and a shot of Pimm’s! Keep the rest simple!

Voilà!

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