Food, Dessert. Eton Mess, Dessert Delight ( Lancing Mess if you like Bananas!)
Pretty Picnic Medly
Capture Summer's Delights
Trust the English to come up with a delicious dessert with a mind numbing name! This Summer pleasure, Eton Mess, was devised as part of the most important celebration in the school calendar, the Fourth of June, birthday of the founder George lll. Eton College is the school next to Windsor (of castle fame) just outside London and is the desired institution for the very wealthy and well connected to educate their sons. It was actually founded in 1441 as a charity school. The celebrations take place on the banks of the River Thames at Eton, not on the fourth of June as one might expect, but on the last Wednesday in May. It is a Procession of boats, some of them vintage, followed by a festive Tea party and Fireworks. The crowning glory of this auspicious occasion is the Eton Mess Dessert said to have been devised in the 1930s.
As can be expected, it is a rich and delectable desert, a rich confection of Strawberries, Meringue and whipped cream. The adult version is often spiked with liqueur. The "mess" may also be made with bananas. Lancing College has a similar version called Lancing Mess but who knows who devised it first! It is called a mess because it looks it! One of the great things about this desert is that everything can be prepared in advance, the cream can be whipped and set in the fridge, the strawberries can be left to macerate and at the last minute the meringues can be crumbled and everything mixed lightly together. It should be done just before serving otherwise it will be a real mess. The meringues will get soggy if they are mixed in too soon and not be a pretty sight.
Here is the recipe. Substitute Bananas if you prefer. A dash of your favorite liqueur adds an extra sparkle if liked. So simple a college boy could make it!
1lb of fresh ripe Strawberries,
6 meringues crumbled into bite sized pieces
Half pint of double whipping cream
1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar or your favorite Liqueur.
Wash and cut up the Strawberries tnto bite sized pieces removing the green hulls. Place one third in a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add sugar to taste (i tablespoon? ) Add the remaining strawberries and mix well . Leave to stand for at least an hour, a dash of your liqueur may be added at this stage or a tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar.
Whip the Cream until it is doubled in size and it stands up in peaks.
Fold in the meringue pieces carefully followed by the marinated strawberries.
Serve in pretty glasses. A sprig of mint makes a nice adornment. Admire and enjoy!