Summertime is berry time as far as I’m concerned! I love fresh berries and am always looking for a new way to use them in recipes. I also love desserts that are quick and easy to throw together but also make a good impression! The “Eton Mess” hits a home run on all counts, PLUS it’s naturally gluten-free! And it might just be one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten in my life! Who knew berries, whipped cream and crunchy meringue cookies could combine to make such a masterful “mess”!
You may be wondering…if it’s so good…then why is it called a MESS? Well, the story is that the Eton Mess was ‘invented’ in the 1930s during the annual cricket match at Eton College, one of Britain’s most distinguished public schools. It seems a labrador sat on a picnic basket in the back of a car and squashed a strawberry and meringue dessert. The resulting “mess” turned out to be quite delicious and so the Eton Mess was born and has been served up at the event ever since. Apparently there is some doubt to the validity of that story…but I like it so I’m sticking with it. :-)
The dessert makes great use of ripe summer strawberries, but I added a few other berries as well because….I love berries….and the addition of blueberries makes it perfect for a 4th of July celebration! :-)
The Eton Mess
2 pounds strawberries, sliced
18 oz raspberries
1 pound blueberries
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cups whipped cream (I suggest using the “real” stuff)
3 cups vanilla meringue cookies, chopped (I bought mine at Trader Joe’s)
In a medium bowl, mix the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, sugar and lemon juice.
Let the berry mixture stand until the fruit begins to release its’ juices – about 30 minutes.
Add 1/3 of the berry mixture to the bottom of a large dish. (I keep meaning to buy a trifle bowl but since I also keep forgetting, I used a fancy glass jar I had – minus the lid. Any bowl will do.)
Next, spread one cup whipped cream on top of the berries.
Then scatter one cup of the vanilla meringue cookies on top of the whipped cream.
Repeat two more times using the remainder of the ingredients. Isn’t it pretty??? :-)
This makes enough for 10 people, so adjust the quantities if you want to make it for fewer. Or just eat all the leftovers yourself! Trust me…it’s easy to do (and don’t ask me how I know!) ;-)
What is your favorite easy summer dessert?
- 2 pounds strawberries, sliced
- 18 oz raspberries
- 1 pound blueberries
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 cups whipped cream
- 3 cups vanilla meringue cookies, chopped
- In a medium bowl, mix the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, sugar and lemon juice.
- Let the berry mixture stand until the fruit begins to release its' juices - about 30 minutes.
- Add ⅓ of the berry mixture to the bottom of a large dish.
- Next, spread one cup whipped cream on top of the berries.
- Then scatter one cup of the vanilla meringue cookies on top of the whipped cream.
- Repeat two more times using the remainder of the ingredients.
- Serve immediately.