Eton Mess — a classic English summertime dessert

Eton Mess is a family favourite. My daughter refers to it as ‘Messy Mash’ and that is exactly what it is. A delicious, sweet, fruity bowl of soft and fluffy meringue bits with juicy berries and delectable whipped cream!

We have taken this tradition, and given it a twist adding more berries. But the history of Eton Mess, named after the famous Eton Boarding School that many prime ministers and princes, kings, etc have attended, is that “the strawberry, meringue and cream pudding was dropped at an Eton v Harrow cricket match in the late 19th century. Perhaps it was a Pavlova style desert. Rather than waste the food, it was simply scooped up off the floor and served, smashed to bits, in individual bowls.”

I love the tale of this story, and my kids love smashing the berries and meringue into bits to create this wonderfully sweet but not too saccharin dessert.

It is also bake-free, takes only a few minutes to make, and is an easy win. Great to serve after a big Sunday lunch, with last minute guests, or on a day where you’d rather play in the sun then be in the kitchen.

Ingredients :

  • Meringue (2 very large or 20 smaller ones — you can make them, here, or we enjoy cheating this step and buying delicious ones instead)
  • Whipping Cream
  • 1.5 punnet of strawberries
  • Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, optional so add to your liking!
  • Vanilla Pod, sliced in half and seeds removed, or vanilla paste, or extract, to your liking. I prefer not to use the vanilla extract as it leaves a bit of an alcohol flavour.

Steps for the mess :

  1. Rinse all of your fruit.
  2. Chop half the strawberries and put them in a blender or smash up.
  3. Pour the double cream/whipping cream into a large mixing bowl and add the vanilla. Then whip it up!
  4. Break up the meringues into about one-inch pieces, put them in the mixing bowl with the cream, add the smashed strawberries and fold the cream in around them to give a marbled effect. Place the mixture in serving dishes.
  5. Chop the rest of the strawberries and combine with the other berries. Put on top of your smashed mixture. You may want to pour a little extra cream on top, but I like the bright, uninterrupted colours of just the berries on the top.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy thoroughly.


And if you want to know some of our other favourite fruit-based desserts, look here and here.




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