I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the greatest baker but I can whip up a mean dessert. Most of the time, dessert is easy but it looks hard. Want to impress someone? Make a chocolate mousse. Such a bad cook you can’t scramble an egg without turning it into rubber? Make Eton Mess. You don’t even have to bother with the meringues–you can get those at Whole Foods.
If you’ve never heard of Eton Mess, don’t worry, neither had I. It’s a traditional English dessert served at the annual cricket game at Eton College, a boarding school in Eton, Berkshire. According to Wikipedia, mess may refer to the appearance of the dish–a mess of berries layered with whipped cream and pieces of meringue (although a very elegant one). Or it may be classified as a prepared dish of soft food or a mixture of ingredients eaten together.
It seems like the perfect, light summery dessert but I also find it festive, adding a touch of sunshine to a drab winter’s day. If you have a few minutes, go make it now. You won’t believe how something so simple can taste so good.
340 g /12 oz raspberries
100 g / 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
3 9 cm / 3 1/2-inch meringues
100 g / 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
350g / 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon raspberry liquer
1) Bring raspberries, sugar, lemon, raspberry liquer and water to a boil over medium high heat; cook until syrupy–about 20 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and let cool slightly before transferring to the freezer. Keep in freezer for about half an hour.
2) In a chilled bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form; add 2 tablespoons sugar and mix to incorporate.
3) Spoon a bit of cream into the bottom of 4 attractive glasses. Break meringues into pieces and place some of the pieces on top of the whipping cream, followed by a layer of the raspberries. Sprinkle with some of the pomegranate seeds. Repeat layer. Serve immediately.