by Dominic Franks from DomInTheKitchen.com @DomInTheKitchen
The summer season is in full swing. Picnics in the park, ice cream on the beach and the thwack of tennis ball and bat at Wimbledon. For me, that means strawberries and my all-time favourite pudding, Eton Mess. It’s essentially a celebration of summer berries, all wrapped up in a luxurious vanilla cream and a crunchy and chewy meringue. I’ve added some chopped mint and basil into the mix as I think they complement the fruit so beautifully, but they also give the dish a level of sophistication that works brilliantly.
This Eton Mess is packed with fresh mint and basil, so I’d recommend keeping it as fresh as possible in the brilliant the Tealby Freshly Cut Herb Keepers Pot.
Kitchen tools that could be useful:
Tealby Freshly Cut Herb Keepers Pot
Prep: 15 mins
Cooking time: 1hr 30mins
- 6 large free-range egg whites
- 300 g golden caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 500 g mixed fresh berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- The juice and zest of a lemon
- 300 ml double cream
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- 250 g Greek yogurt
- Fresh Mint
- Fresh Basil
- Preheat the oven to 130ºC (fan)
- Place the egg whites into a very clean and dry bowl. Beat with an electric whisk on a medium speed until it forms stiff peaks.
- With your mixer still running, gradually add the caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, plus the salt, then whisk on a high speed for 7 to 8 minutes, or until white and glossy. To test whether it's done you can pinch some between your fingers – if it feels completely smooth then it's ready, but if it's still slightly granular it needs a little more whisking.
- Line 2 large swiss roll trays with greaseproof paper. Divide the mixture between each tray, then use the back of a spoon to shape and swirl it across the trays, leaving a little gap around the edges.
- Bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until crisp on the outside and a little soft and sticky inside. Once cooked, leave the meringues to cool.
- Meanwhile, chop the strawberries, then place the fruit in a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of caster sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste and the juice and zest of 1 lemon. Stir well, then leave aside to macerate for 1 hour.
- Next, pour the cream into a large bowl and add the icing sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste. Whip until soft peaks form, then fold in the Greek yoghurt.
- Finely chop the basil and mint using the Tealby Freshly Cut Herb Keepers Pot. I use roughly 1 tablespoon of each.
- Place one of the meringues onto a platter and spoon half the vanilla cream over the top and spread it out to the edges.
- Sprinkle with half the chopped basil and mint. Top with half the berries, then carefully lay the other meringue on top of that and repeat with the cream and berries. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped basil and mint. Serve in bowls.
Tip: When your meringue is cooked, remove it from the oven straight away so that it crisps up on top. You can cook the meringue the day before and it will keep fresh covered in a tea towel.