Forgive us for finally getting to this dessert as we actually made it a while ago. Sometimes we just get backed up in the kitchen. A couple of months ago, there was yet another dinner party hosted by a friend, and we pulled the dessert card out of the hat. The theme was British and, above all, healthy. Admittedly, this required a few minutes of research. There were a lot of puddings and cobblers that popped up, along with a trillion trifles. With strawberries topping the sweet fruit chart right now, the idea was enticing. And then we remembered Nigella–Nigella Lawson, that is. Once upon a time, we saw her whip up a little something called Eton Mess. We’d found our answer.
Eton Mess originated at Eton College in Berkshire as the dessert served at its yearly prize-giving picnic on June 4. That’s just a little history for you. This was such a fast and easy dessert to make. Well, relatively so. You do have to make the meringue cookies the night before, but after that, you’re on the road to a light, summery dessert in minutes. We couldn’t compromise the rules of the dinner party (healthy, healthy, healthy!), so as much as it pained us to not make our own whipped cream, the inclusion of Cool Whip did not disappoint. Next time, it’s heavy whipping cream all the way! And maybe a little port on the strawberries? Maybe!
Eton Mess – Serves 6
3 egg whites
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of salt
6 almonds, sliced
Strawberries & Cream
12 ounces light Cool Whip, slightly room temp
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pounds strawberries, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1. With an electric mixer, beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar to soft peaks.
2. Slowly pour in powdered sugar and continue to whip to stiff peaks. Add almond extract, combining until mixture is smooth and glossy.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop meringue batter in even amounts on the tray. Sprinkle with almonds.
4. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees until crisp, approx. 1 1/2-2 hours.
5. Turn off oven and leave meringues in the oven overnight to dry.
6. Just before serving, toss strawberries with sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
7. With an electric mixer, beat Cool Whip with extracts until combined.
8. Split strawberries and whipped cream amongst six bowls. Crumble meringue cookies over each bowl and stir to mix.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.