Eton Mess

Eton Mess

Eton Mess is made with crumbled meringues, strawberries, and whipped cream – how can you go wrong with a combo like that?

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Have I ever told you how much I love meringue? Especially those lovely individual meringues that are just barely sweet, crispy on the outside, and still a touch sticky in the middle – yumm!

My meringue love affair started during a year I spent living in Moscow, Russia. If my memory serves me, pretty much every bakery there carries individual, expertly cooked meringues, called beze in Russian. Of course, they make the perfect, slightly sweet accompaniment to a strong cup of Russian tea. I think I must have eaten a beze a day!

Fast forward a couple years (actually, a couple decades 😉  ), and I still love meringues – and anything made with meringue, for that matter. So imagine my delight when I discovered the oh-so-simple, meringue-based dessert, Eton Mess.

Eton Mess at TasteOfThePlace.com

This is a dessert from England, and the story goes that it originated at Eton College where it was served at the annual cricket match against the pupils of Harrow School. A lovely embellishment of the story says it was invented when a dog, specifically a Labrador, happened to sit on a strawberry pavlova during a match, crushing the meringue. The cricket players didn’t care a bit, and happily ate the crushed meringue and strawberries! Whatever the true story – it’s delicious!

Traditionally, Eton Mess is made with crumbled meringues, strawberries, and whipped cream – how can you go wrong with a combo like that? Today, Eton Mess has branched out from its original strawberries and cream roots, and you can find all varieties from apple and cinnamon to caramel and nuts, to chocolate and cherry. Pretty much any combination of crumbled meringue, fruit, and sauce or cream will do.

Meringues from TasteOfThePlace.com
Oh, how I love homemade meringues!

A few notes

There is no shame in substituting homemade meringues for store-bought. If you’ve got a source for good quality, tasty ones, I say Go For It! The same goes for whipped cream. If there is a brand out there that you like, more power to you!

FAQs

Do I have to make the meringues from scratch?

Nope! Store-bought meringues will work just fine.

Can I use canned whipped cream?

You bet! Freshly whipped is tastier, but sometimes easy is the way to go!

Can I substitute other fruit for the strawberries?

Sure! Use whatever fruity concoction you like! Even something like lemon curd would be delicious.

Can Eton Mess be made ahead of time?

Not so much. The meringues will likely start to lose their crispy texture and the whipped cream begin deflating after 30 minutes or so. So if you want to get ahead, crumble the meringues and prep the strawberries, then put everything together at the last minute.

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Eton Mess

Eton Mess


  • Author: Julie A. Cockburn
  • Total Time: 2 + hours if you make the meringues
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Eton Mess is made with crumbled meringues, strawberries, and whipped cream – how can you go wrong with a combo like that?


Ingredients

Units Scale

Meringues

Makes about 12 2- to 3-inch meringues. You’ll have a few extra. Optionally use 8 store-bought.

  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 150 grams (about 2/3 cup) white sugar
  • Tiny splash of vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Whipped Cream

Makes about 2 cups of whipped cream. Optionally use 2 cups store-bought.

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Dash of vanilla

Strawberries

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • A pinch of sugar to taste

Instructions

Meringues

  1. Preheat your oven to 225°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone mat.
  2. Place the egg whites in a squeaky clean glass or metal bowl. Add a pinch of cream of tartar. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
  3. With the mixer running at medium speed, very slowly add the sugar. Turn the mixer to high, and whip until the whites become stiff and glossy, and you can no longer feel sugar granules if you rub a bit between your fingers.
  4. Add a splash of vanilla and a pinch of salt, and continue beating for about a minute longer.
  5. Use a spoon or a piping bag to dollop the meringue into 2- to 3-inch wide rounds on the prepared sheet pan. I personally like to do this with a spoon – a piping bag feels too fussy to me.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, turn the heat off, and let the meringues sit in the oven for another 1 hour. Check them for doneness, and remove from the oven to cool completely. You will know they are done when they easily lift off the parchment, and sound hollow with you tap the bottoms.

Whipped Cream

  1. Add the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla to a cool mixing bowl. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks.
  2. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Strawberries

  1. Toss the strawberries with sugar to taste.

Put It Together!

  1. Crumble 8 meringues into medium-size pieces.
  2. Layer the crumbled meringue, strawberries, and whipped cream into 4 individual serving dishes (8-ounce mason jars are especially cute). Messy is good – no need to try to create perfect layers!
  3. Enjoy with gusto!

Recommended Equipment and Goodies

Notes

There is no shame in substituting homemade meringues for store-bought. If you’ve got a source for good quality, tasty ones, I say Go For It! The same goes for whipped cream. If there is a brand out there that you like, more power to you!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours + cooling
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: British

Keywords: eton mess, meringue, whipped cream, easy dessert, summer dessert

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Eton Mess at TasteOfThePlace.com

Hi! I’m Julie

Julie Cockburn with the Taste Of The Place cookbook

I’m so glad you stopped by! 

Taste Of The Place is where I share my love of all things international food and culinary travel. 

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