Summer may be pretty much over, but the shops are still full of summer berries, so one might as well make use of them while one can. My favourite way is in this version of an Eton Mess. Not only is the secret to use the best fruit you can get, it also requires the best meringues – luckily a patisserie near me does them in plain, berry, and chocolate flavours, and I like to use a mix of all three for this recipe. It’s a damn simple dish, but one that pleases every time – I once even made it for a garden party of fifty guests, and most asked for seconds.
- A 1kg mix of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, washed and prepared
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- Zest of a lemon
- Juice of half a lemon
- Small handful of fresh mint, chopped
- 400ml double cream
- Meringues of your choosing, broken up
Take half the fruit and put it in a saucepan with the sugar, lemon juice, and zest, and a tablespoon of water. Heat it over a low heat, allowing the fruit to cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the mint and allow the mixture to cool. Once cold drain the juice away.
While the fruit is cooking, whip the cream until stiff.
Now build the Eton Mess, by dividing the cooked and raw fruit equally between the bowls.
Then top with a tablespoon or two of the whipped cream, scatter over the broken meringues, and serve.