Strawberry Eton Mess is an easy, no-fuss layered dessert made with soft luscious whipped cream, juicy fresh strawberries, and crisp meringues. If you use store-bought meringues or prepare all the components in advance, you can whip it up in just a few minutes.
1 lb (450 g)fresh strawberrieshulled and quartered
For the whipped cream:
2 cups (470 g)heavy cream or whipping creamchilled
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 167°F (75°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Increase the speed and gradually add the sugar. Keep whisking the eggs until they form a stiff, glossy peak. (If you rub a bit between your fingertips, it should feel smooth).Add the vanilla extract and whisk until just combined.
Pipe the meringues onto the prepared baking sheet. (I used Wilton 2D star tip).
Bake for about 2 hours or until the meringues can easily peel off the parchment paper.Turn off the oven and let the meringues cool completely inside the oven with the door ajar for a couple of hours or overnight.
Combine the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a bowl. Let the berries sit at room temperature or in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Place about half of the strawberries in your food processor and blend until smooth. Keep the remaining strawberries for decoration.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, place the heavy cream and sugar. Beat, on high speed, until stiff peaks form.Add the vanilla and whip until combined.
Crumble the meringues and fold them into the whipped cream (reserve a few cookies for decoration).
Using 4 decorative glasses, start layering the Eton mess.Begin with a few spoonfuls of strawberry sauce, followed by the cream mixture. Repeat as room allows.
Decorate with the remaining strawberries, a sprig of mint, and a few meringues.Serve immediately.
Preparation time is 30 minutes ONLY if you prepare the meringues ahead of time or use store-bought meringues. If making your own meringue cookies, preparation time is 2 hours 15 minutes + chilling time.
Meringues can be stored in an airtight container for several days. Do not refrigerate.
Make it slightly healthier - Replace half of the whipped cream with low-fat Greek yogurt for a healthier version.