I love any food or drink with a good story behind it, from Singapore Slings to Kentucky Hot Browns. That's why I've been wanting to make the Eton Mess, a strawberry dessert recipe with hundreds of years of English custom behind it, practically forever.
This no-cook berry pudding was first created sometime in the 1800s at Eton College, one of Britain's most distinguished public schools. It's served with great fanfare every year at the school's June 4 celebration picnic, which is held on the playing fields following a cricket game against the students of neighboring Winchester College.
Although historians believe it was first served with bananas, strawberries became de rigueur over the years, as did the addition of crumbled meringue cookies. Think of it as an inside-out pavlova — creamy, crispy, fruity, and sticky. For the five-ingredient recipe, read more.
1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
3 cups coarsely crumbled pink or white meringue cookies (about 4 ounces)
- Gently stir together strawberries and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cover, and let stand at room temperature until juices are released, at least 30 minutes (or refrigerate overnight).
- Coarsely crush berries using a potato masher. Whisk together cream and confectioners sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold in cookies and berries (with juices) until almost combined but ribbons of juice remain. Serve immediately.