Ok – so not a dinner. Well – I’d eat it for dinner quite happily. But in all seriousness, I thought it deserved a spot in my Easy Dinners category because, bar yoghurt, it’s quite possibly the quickest dessert to construct. And if you pop it in some fancy shmancy serving dishes, it can actually look quite impressive!
Eton mess, a traditional English dessert, has been eaten at Eton College’s annual cricket game against the pupils of Harrow School since the 19th century. It’s a favourite among most in the UK, and is the queen of sweet summer dishes.
While I do like to make meringues from scratch, sometimes there just isn’t time. And it is in time sensitive situations that I feel one is allowed to dabble in a spot of cheating. Store-bought meringues work just as well, but the key is fresh summer berries. You can use strawberries, rasberries, blackberries, blue berries, or whatever summer berries you desire. I like to use a selection.
This serves 4 people.
20 mini meringues
Handful of summer berries per person
300ml whipping cream (or double cream for a heavier consistency)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Fresh mint (optional)
1/ Add vanilla essence to cream and whisk until stiff peaks form.
2/ Crush 16 mini meringues, and divide into four serving receptacles.
3/ Divide cream between four servings of crushed meringues.
4/ Add a handful of mixed berries to each one, keeping a few back to garnish with later. Make sure that you chop strawberries into bite-size pieces.
5/ Mix until all combined. Top with one mini meringue, a couple of berries, and sprig of mint. Hey presto – you’re done!