It’s finally spring, even if Southern California decided to drive straight into summer while the East Coast was like, “nah we’ll keep winter”. Fresh berries are one of my favorite things about summer approaching, and this Eton Mess is my new go-to for using whatever’s on sale at the grocery store. For those unfamiliar, Eton Mess is basically very soft whipped cream folded with meringues and berries. We’re going one step further by pairing it with a blueberry earl grey sauce (one of my favorite flavor combos). The best part? Everything’s make ahead so it’s just assembly after dinner.
The two biggest components are the meringues and the blueberry sauce, but make them a couple days ahead and the assembly’s a cinch.
First up, the blueberry sauce:
3 earl grey teabags 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (I prefer wild frozen for cooked applications like this) 1/2 cup white granulated sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
In a medium sized saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil, turn the heat off, and add the teabags to steep for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the teabags and gently squeeze out the liquid back into the saucepan. Add the blueberries and sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. While you’re waiting for that, mix together the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water to make a slurry. Once the mixture starts to bubble, add the cornstarch slurry and cook for 4 minutes to thicken the sauce and cook out the raw cornstarch flavor. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste, let cool to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge to cool completely. This can keep covered in the fridge for 5 days.
To make the meringues, beat 4 egg whites with a pinch of salt in a stand up mixer with the whisk attachment until frothy. Then, gradually add 1 cup of superfine sugar a tablespoon at a time. Once all the sugar’s added, crank the speed up to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with whatever piping tip you desire and pipe out the meringues onto a couple parchment lined baking sheets. I like to pipe out about 1/3 of the meringues a little smaller and extra cute for topping the eton mess when it’s done.
Bake the meringues in a 200ºF oven for 1 1/2 hours then turn off the oven and leave them in there until completely cool. Once cooled, store the meringues, covered, on the counter for up to 2 days.
To assemble these bad boys:
2 cups of heavy cream scant cup of fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish fresh mint and leftover whole meringues for garnish
Whip up the heavy cream to very very soft peaks. Like, not even peaks just whipped enough so when it falls back in on itself it holds its shape then sort of just goes back into the bowl. While the cream whips up, crush up enough of the meringues to make 4 cups of meringue mess, you want some decent shards and some dust in there too, then fold together the soft cream, blueberries, and the crushed meringues.
You can either make a large family style situation by adding the sauce to the bottom of a medium sized baking dish (9x9ish) and topping with the eton mess followed by the leftover meringue and blueberries. Or you can go the individual route by spooning a few spoonfuls of sauce into the bottom of a glass then topping with the eton mess and garnishing as desired. Either way you’ll easily get 6-8 servings.