Eton Mess

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Legend has it that this delicious summer dessert came about during a cricket match at Eton College, where a large berry meringue was accidentally dropped on its platter. The salvaged “mess” was scooped into bowls, served to the crowd and is now a beloved tradition both for its simplicity and its charming “less-than-perfect” appearance.

Serves: 6
Difficulty: easy
Cook time: 10 min
Inactive time: 60 min


2, 6 oz pkg fresh raspberries, rinsed
1 lb fresh strawberries, rinsed and trimmed
1 c + 3 T sugar
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 T berry liqueur or Kirsch (cherry liqueur), optional
1 pt fresh blueberries, rinsed
2 c cold heavy cream
1 t vanilla extract
1, 4.5 oz pkg Meringue cookies (vanilla or berry flavor, or combination), some lightly broken
mint sprigs for garnish, optional
shaved chocolate for garnish, optional


Add 1 package of raspberries and half of the strawberries to saucepan with 1 c of sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring often; immediately reduce heat and simmer 10 min, until syrupy. Remove from heat. Add remaining raspberries, strawberries and blueberries to mixture, along with liqueur, if using. Chill completely, 1 hour.

With an electric mixer, whip cream with 3 T of sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use. To serve, either use individual glasses or one large dish and layer in this order: bottom quarter of dish with berry mixture, then half of the whipped cream and meringue pieces (dish should be half full), add another layer of berries and finish with more whipped cream and meringue, topping with a final drizzle of berry sauce. Garnish with mint sprigs or, for a twist, a sprinkle of shaved chocolate. Serve immediately.