Sunday, August 7, 2011


DEBORAH CROMBIE: I was so inspired by Rosemary's Strawberry Cake last Sunday that I decided to throw in the quintessential English summer desert. And I'd be willing to bet that none of the Reds except Rhys have any idea what an Eton Mess is. Believe me, it tastes much better than it sounds.

This no-cook berry pudding was first created sometime in the 1800s at Eton College, one of Britain's most distinguished public schools. It's served with great fanfare every year at the school's June 4 celebration picnic, which is held on the playing fields following a cricket game against the students of neighboring Winchester College.

Although historians believe it was first served with bananas, strawberries became de rigueur over the years, as did the addition of crumbled meringue cookies. Think of it as an inside-out pavlova — creamy, crispy, fruity, and sticky. For the five-ingredient recipe, read more.


(From Martha Stewart Living)


1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

3 cups coarsely crumbled pink or white meringue cookies (about 4 ounces)


Gently stir together strawberries and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cover, and let stand at room temperature until juices are released, at least 30 minutes (or refrigerate overnight).

Coarsely crush berries using a potato masher. Whisk together cream and confectioners sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold in cookies and berries (with juices) until almost combined but ribbons of juice remain. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

I LOVE this, and I know a lovely pub called The Jolly Gardeners in Putney (London) that does a fab Eton Mess. It should be eaten after a Sunday lunch and a good Pimm's.

In fact, I'm now so inspired that I may have to go to Whole Foods Market tomorrow and buy meringues so I can whip up a batch of Eton Mess of my own. (Yes, I know I could make the meringues, but we have a no-bake rule going in our kitchen at the moment. And I'm lazy.)

Give it a whirl, JR readers, and let us know what you think. Happy Sunday!


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  2. Love the no bake rule for summers. It looks delicious, and something my nice year old can have fun being the head chef on.:)

  3. I love Devonshire Cream and was lucky enough to find some in my grocery store. Now that I have it, I can't figure out what it was serve to me with? On fruit? Of course, I could just eat it with a spoon, but so much better to have justification other than just pigging out. Any ideas, Deborah?

  4. EB, you could use the cream the most proper way, with scones and strawberry jam. Or if, like me, you're too lazy to bake, you could just put the cream on strawberries. Or just eat it with a spoon:-)

  5. Easy, cool, and sweet. I'd add chocolate -- forget the tradition ;)