Baking/ Dessert

Strawberry and Rhubarb Eton Mess

Eton mess fraises-rhubarbe

Piece of life

Considering this superb weather we are having, it is evident that we are looking for fresher recipes. While I was looking for a dessert idea, I came across this Eton Mess recipe, a traditional English recipe [it seems that I’m in my Anglo-Saxon phase] that caught my eye right away.

About the Eton Mess

This dessert has a very simple construction, identical to a Pavlova but in a de-structured version. The original recipe is composed of French meringue, whipped cream and strawberries, but one’s can vary the fruits within the taste and the season. Its name comes from the famous Eton College [a renowned British school], and mess [disorder] refers to its disorganization. Simple, isn’t it?

The meringue

This is the most challenging part of the recipe. Baking the meringue is always tricky; I have had some failures over the years. But it is not insuperable. I followed the super advices from “Un déjeuner de soleil” blog and my meringues became superb! I invite you to take a detailed look at Edda’s tips, but to give you a short brief, here are the essential points:

1/ use the egg whites at room temperature (ideally, separate them from the yolks a few days before, like for macaroons. Keep them in the refrigerator until the D-day.)

2/ Start by whipping the whites in nature (without sugar). Then, once they are well frothy, gradually add the sugar. Continue to beat until they are well stiffed and form stiff peaks.

Stiff peaks

3/ Baking is also a difficult step. The meringue is delicate and should be cooked at low heat, between 90 to 120°C [195 to 250°F], during 1h to 1h30 for the small ones (2 to 3 hours for the large ones). Once cooked, leave them in the oven for some hours. This will help to dry them out.

Two-tone Meringues

You can colour your meringues to get some glamour touch. To get two-tone meringues, I followed the advice from “Anne-Sophie’s fashion cooking” blog. Brush inside a piping bag with some liquid colouring.

Then, put the meringue nozzle into the piping bag. As you shape, you get two-tone meringues. Simple and effective!

The whipped cream

Nothing so simple as making homemade whipped cream. You will need 35% whipped cream (crème Fleurette), sugar, a bowl and a mixer.

Preferably, place the bowl beforehand in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes. This is not essential, but it will help the whipped cream set more quickly. Pour in the cream and some sugar [I like my whipped cream not so sweet, as the meringue already has a lot of sugar, but it’s a matter of taste, add the sugar quantity you like].

The fruits

Eton Mess is usually prepared with strawberries, but you can use any fruit, fresh or compote.

Appreciate it!

Eton mess fraises-rhubarbe

Strawberry and Rhubarb Eton Mess

A light delicate and fresh dessert. This is the perfect recipe for summer days!
Course: Pastry
Cuisine: Anglo-saxon
Keyword: Gourmet recipe
Portions 4 people
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Temps de repos: 1 hour
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the meringues

  • 70 g egg whites, room temperature (around 2 whites)
  • 70 g sugar
  • 35 g powdered sugar
  • some drops lemon juice optional
  • some drop food coloring optional

For the whipped cream

  • 300 ml 35% whipped cream (crème fleurette)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 pod vanila (optional)

Strawberry-rhubarb compote

  • 250 g strawberry
  • 250 g rhubarb
  • 50 g sugar

Instructions

For the meringues

  • Ideally, separate the egg whites from the yolks 3 to 4 days before, and keep them in the refrigerator. On the final day, leave them at room temperature for at least 1 hour before preparing the meringues.
  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper (or silicone mat)
  • Preheat the oven to 100°C (210°F).
  • Pour the egg whites into the mixer bowl with a few drops of lemon juice. Whip at medium speed. When the whites become frothy and have increased by about 1/3 in volume, gradually add the sugar. Continue to whip on high speed until the whites are consistent and form stiff peaks (about 10 min).
  • Add the sifted powdered sugar, very gently.
  • Prepare the piping bag (to colour your meringues, see the directions in the text above), and fill it with the mixture. Shape the meringues on the baking sheet.
  • Bake them for 1 to 1.5 hours. You can open the oven for 1 minute after 1 hour of baking to let the moisture get away. Once the meringues are cooked, turn off the oven but leave the meringues inside for 1 hour or more to let them properly dry.

For the whipped cream

  • Place a large bowl into the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes before preparing the whipped cream (not essential, but the whipped cream will set faster)
  • Pour the cream into the bowl, add the sugar and the vanilla pod seeds. Whip with a hand mixer or with a mixer equipped with a wire whip beater until you have whipped cream. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Strawberry-rhubarb compote

  • In a pan, pour the fruits (coarsely chopped) and the sugar.
  • Cook over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, until they are well stewed.

Assembling

  • In the glasses, make alternated layers of whipped cream and compote, then, cover with some meringues.

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