When I watch Wimbledon, my thoughts turn to strawberries and cream. The same goes if I’m watching The Australian Open. In fact, whenever I am watching tennis I get a hankering for strawberries and cream. So after a month of dedicated tennis viewing I have had my fair share, but the ultimate strawberry and cream combination is an Eton Mess.
Eton Mess is my favourite dessert of all time – strawberries, sweetened whipped cream, crumbled meringues and a non-traditional scoop of vanilla ice-cream. According to Joel and his family, no dessert is complete without the presence of ice-cream, and I have to agree that the inclusion of ice-cream in Eton Mess is a stroke of genius.
I just use a basic Stephanie Alexander meringue recipe and it is enough for our 6 serves of Eton Mess. All the other elements aren’t specific quantities – just a guideline. If you use more or less of anything it won’t really matter because this is a recipe that would be hard to stuff up. Just throw it all in a bowl and curl up for The Australian Open tennis final tonight!
2 punnets of strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
2 tablespoons caster sugar
(meringue recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s book ‘The Cooks Companion’)
2 egg whites
120g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Whisk the egg whites in a mixer until soft peaks form. Continue to whisk and gradually add the sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Rub a little of the egg whites between your forefinger and thumb to see if the sugar is still grainy. Mix through the vanilla.
Dollop spoonfuls of the mix onto the baking tray to form 6 meringues. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes then turn off the oven and open the door just a little and leave to cool.
Whisk the cream with 2 tablespoons of caster sugar until soft peaks form. Crumble 5 meringues into 6 dessert bowls. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the sliced strawberries and finish with big dollops of the whipped cream. Crumble over the final meringue over and serve.