By Arden Terry
The Eton Mess is a popular dessert that is perfect for summer. Supposedly it was invented at a cricket match at Eton College when a dog sat on a picnic basket and mixed all the fruit and cream together. Not only is this dessert so easy a “dog’s butt” (Their words not mine!) can make it, but it is a recipe that is flexible and allows for improvisation. You can mix and match fruits and add kind of toppings you choose. I prefer mine without dog hair personally.
I will show you how to make a Texas Style Eton that uses peaches and pecans, and then I will tell you about a few variants I came up with. Just remember that there are tons of variations that you can do.
Serves up to four people.
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp caster/fine sugar
1 2/3 meringue cookies
3 cups chopped peaches
First peel and chop 3 cups worth of peaches and chop into to bite size portions then set aside.
Next put the meringue in a plastic bag and break them to large chunks. You might need to use a rolling-pin. Don’t worry if you end up with a lot of crumbs but make sure not to make the pieces to small.
In a medium-sized mixing pour both 1 1/4 cups of cream, and 1 tbsp. With an electric mixer whip the cream and sugar together until the cream fluffy. You want it to still be soft.
Then add 1 2/3 cups of meringue chunks to the bowl of cream. Stir it in with a spoon until it is mixed properly.
Place half (or as many as you’d like but make sure to save enough for the garnish) of the chopped peaches into a bowl. Using a fork or spoon crush the peaches so that the release some of their juices. Then stir the peaches into the cream and meringue mix.
After that chop up as many pecans as you need.
Once the peaches are stirred in properly divide the mixture between into bowls for serving. Garnish with the remaining peaches and the chopped pecans. Then the dish is ready to be served! Though Eton will keep overnight the desert is best eaten the day that it is made.
Like I said the Eton Mess is capable of being tweaked in various ways. The proportions remain the same just the ingredients differ. For example you can add or even substitute greek yogurt for the cream, or change the types of fruit or meringue you use. Here are some examples of variants I made.
This one follows the same recipe except I substituted in raspberries for the peaches and I used chocolate meringues.
Blackberry and Cherry Liquor:
This follows the regular formula except you use blackberries, and before you add the meringues and fruit to the mixture pour in a dash of Cherry Liquor to the cream and stir it in. The cream might turn a slight pinkish color. Once it properly mixed you can add the meringue and berries.
Very Berry Mix and Greek Yogurt:
For this one I added a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt to the cream. You probably want it to be half cream half yogurt. Then for the fruit I used strawberries, blueberries and blackberries
For this not only did I use blueberries as the fruit I roasted them too. To roast the blueberries first preheat the oven to 475° F. Place a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet. Put the berries on the parchment make sure to spread them out a little. In the oven cook the berries for 8 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t get burned. Once they’re done remove from the oven and set them aside to cool. You want them to cool down enough so they don’t melt the cream when you add them to the mix.