In a land far, far away from Seattle is a gorgeous little place called Eton. You may have heard of it. It’s in southern England. It’s where Wills and Harry went to school. They wear tailcoats at Eton, it’s all very la-di-dah. Another thing they do at Eton – in the summer – is eat Eton Mess. So I thought that in celebration of the impending birth of a new baby prince or princess, I’d create a *SANE version. This is also a perfect dessert for your upcoming 4th of July festivities, Americans! Living a SANE lifestyle doesn’t mean we have to miss out on all the fun – be it Royal, Independence or otherwise. Eton Mess is a simple assembly. There’s several ways you can do it, and I’ve given you two versions here. One I like to call The Dinner Party version, and the other The Summer BBQ version. The only difference is the way you assemble the bits. I say that, but they do actually taste different as well. One of the ‘bits’ you’ll need for this is some SANE Meringue Cookies. The Dinner Party version is layered into pretty glass dishes and looks all sophisticated. The Summer BBQ version is mixed into a mess and looks all fun & frivolous.
Now let’s be clear. You don’t want to be eating this every day, but it’s a lovely treat for a few weekends in the summer. When I made it to take photographs for this post, I sat on my terrace in the afternoon sun and revelled in the warmth while enjoying the sweet, juicy berries mixed with crunchy meringues and softly whipped vanilla cream. It was a beautiful 10 minutes. It made me think back to glorious summers in England, and watching Wimbledon (there is no “t”, lovely Americans!), the 7-week-long summer holidays from school, walking down the banks of the Thames in the sunshine, and boating in Henley. Oh, and Pimms. And open-air concerts on the lawn with a picnic. All lovely, lovely things.
Add a bit of English to your summer this year, old chaps!
- 4 oz / 110g fresh raspberries
- 4 oz / 110g fresh blackberries
- 8 oz / 225g fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 TBSP xylitol (I use Xyla)
- 1 cup / 8 fl oz. heavy (double) cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- SANE Meringue Cookies (see recipe link above)
- In a bowl, mix the fresh berries and xylitol together and leave to stand for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries become soft and there are plenty of juices in the bowl.
- Meanwhile, in another bowl, whip the cream and vanilla extract until the cream holds very soft peaks. DO NOT whip until it is stiff.
- SUMMER BBQ VERSION:
- Fold the cream gently into the berries until completely mixed.
- Gently fold in the meringue cookies just until they are evenly distributed.
- Spoon into glasses and garnish with sliced strawberries.
- Serve with a long spoon.
- DINNER PARTY VERSION:
- Alternate spoonfuls of berries, meringue cookies and whipped cream into glass dishes, being careful not to mix the layers together.
- Layer until meringues and cream are all used up.
- Finish with a layer of berries.
- Spoon any remaining berry juices over the desserts.