I can't think of a more quintessentially English dessert than Eton Mess. It is classic, simple and very easy to make. In order to use my the vast quantities of Rhubarb growing in our garden and allotment, I chose to substitute the traditional ingredient i.e. strawberry with Rhubarb and edible flowers from our garden. I also used the leftover egg whites from the Creme Brulee I made the other week to make the meringues. Egg whites keep well in the fridge in a sealed container for a week or two. Here is how I made it:
For the meringue:
4 large egg whites
100g icing sugar
30g caster sugar
For the compote:
1 stalk of rhubarb per serving
1 tsp vanilla extract
Few edible flower petals, I used pansies
200 ml double cream
Heat the oven to 140 C (fan oven). Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Slowly add the sugar and continue whisking until smooth and glossy. Use a teaspoon and scoop onto parchment paper/foil on baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes or until the meringues are ready. I made about 20 meringues with the quantity of ingredients listed. After you turn off the oven, continue to keep the meringues in the oven for about 3 hours.
For the compote:
Chop the rhubarb and stew with a little water and sugar ( a couple of tablespoons each) for about 10 minutes.
Whip the cream until light and fluffy. To serve, crush the meringue and layer with compote, cream and edible flowers. Happy days!
The dessert is so simple and yet so sophisticated and I love how the different tastes and textures of the various ingredients complement each other so beautifully. I hope you have fun making this dessert and let me know how you get on! Ann x
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