Traditional English Eton mess with the hint of fresh basil.
Back to 2005.
Before school began in Budapest, I met up with Andouille and Yam, my two other classmates and co-criminals in this adventure, in London.
This was a different London than it is to me now, the one where I was a still very much a tourist and not yet as comfortable as a resident.
We hit all the big sites: Buckingham, Kensington, the London Eye and the Tower. We even ate ourselves some curry at Spicy World, a nondescript Indian restaurant on Lettuce’s recommendation.
View from the Eye, as seen through a Canon Elf.
In deciding what to make from London, I opted for this Strawberry Basil Eton Mess because it seems to epitomize everything that is great about summer; juicy strawberries, fresh basil, light meringues and fluffy whipped cream. Plus, it’s a no-bake, so let’s keep that oven off.
I’d never made this before because of my nonsensical aversion to fruit desserts, but this one- yes. It’s really a vehicle for me to eat whipped cream. And with Crawley stalking the kitchen counter every time he hears the hand mixer, love for whipped cream runs deep in this household.
I’d recommend prepping and then assembling this fabulous dessert right before you intend to eat it, lest the whipped cream fall and the meringues get soggy. In neither instance would this dessert end well. In order to do that, I’d suggest some gelatin or stabilizer for the cream, or if you’re the bomb, use white chocolate like I did for the fool (also a great summer dessert, btw). Also, how great would fresh mint be instead of basil? So great. Let’s do that next.
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 2 cups vanilla meringues, broken into equal size as the berries
- 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
- 6 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- For the sauce
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 TB sugar
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 TB)
- Place the basil leaves into the cream and let sit in the fridge overnight or at least 2 hours. Remove the basil and whip to moderately stiff peaks.
- Make the sauce by placing the sauce ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth.
- Into the bowl with the cream, add the remaining 2 cups berries and meringues. Mix well.
- Divide the mixture into four bowls and drizzle a bit of the sauce over each one. Garnish with extra basil and enjoy whilst sitting on a patio and/or with good company.
Written whilst eating toast and jam.