Eton Mess

Eton mess is pure summer for me. I was at the Nijmegen food market and saw some Dutch strawberries on offer so I knew I had to do them some justice, and also cause i bought a hell of alot of them. Rob has never tried eton mess before so at my shock I rustled up some while he was at work.

If you’re using pre-bought meringues then this recipe is basically no effort at all, but I prefer making meringues even though they take a long time in the oven, But I think the uncooked meringue over head test is always satisfying…. Yeah I need to make more friends in the Netherlands.

This recipe is to make 12 pieces and about 2 pieces are used for 1 portion of eton mess.

3 large free-range egg whites (room temperature)
2 pinches of cream of tartar
175g of caster sugar
250ml of cream
500g of fresh strawberries

Preheat the oven to 120°C/250°F/gas 1.5. Lay a sheet of Baking Paper over a baking tray in preparation.
Put the egg whites into a large bowl thats completely clean from dirt or any kind of liquid or grease. Whisk with an electric mixer for about 20-30 seconds or until the egg whites are foamy. Add the cream of tartar (or a small dash of vinegar) and continue whisking until the mixture forms a soft peak when you lift out the whisk.

Whisk in half of the sugar, a tablespoon or so at a time and continue whisking for about 1 minute or until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks when you lift out the whisk.

Add the rest of the sugar and fold into the mixture lightly, taking care that the sugar is fully incorporated but not over-mixed.

Using a soup spoon or something similar scoop up a heaped spoonful of the mixture. With a second spoon, gently push the mixture off onto the lined baking sheet. Repeat to make 12 meringues, spacing them slightly apart to allow for spreading. Bake for bout 2 hours or until firm. Remove the sheet from the oven and allow to cool completely before peeling the meringues away from the paper.

In another dish or bowl, break up 1 or 2 meringues per person. Slice some strawberries and pile on top of meringue. Whip some cream and dollop over the pairings. For an extra treat, pour over a small amount of creamed liqueur for example baileys or cool swan and sprinkle with some sliced almonds….damn tasty.

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