Easy Strawberry Eton Mess

updated Aug 24, 2022
Valentine's Day
Easy Strawberry Eton Mess

Think of Eton mess as a deconstructed strawberry shortcake — crunchy meringue cookies stand in as a delicious alternative to cake and instead of stacking, you get to toss everything together.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

When life gets messy, turn to Eton mess. The classic British dessert, filled with pops of sweet red strawberries, is a satisfying, totally underrated treat you can whip together even (especially) when life is feeling particularly crazy.

What Is Eton Mess?

Eton mess is a combination of just three ingredients: meringue, strawberries, and whipped cream. Think of it as a deconstructed strawberry shortcake — crunchy meringue cookies stand in as a delicious alternative to cake, and instead of stacking, you get to toss everything together.

When combined with soft whipped cream and juicy macerated strawberries, the hard meringue offers a much-needed crunchy contrast. Meringue cookies are also naturally gluten-free, making this a great dessert option for a crowd (the recipe can easily be scaled up).

You can certainly make your own meringue, but to really take advantage of how easy this dessert is, I recommend buying them. Trader Joe’s has some great meringues. And during the cold winter months, opt for thawed frozen strawberries. Switch to fresh come strawberry season.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Easy Strawberry Eton Mess

Think of Eton mess as a deconstructed strawberry shortcake — crunchy meringue cookies stand in as a delicious alternative to cake and instead of stacking, you get to toss everything together.

Prep time 10 minutes

Serves4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    fresh strawberries, or 4 cups thawed frozen strawberries

  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar, divided

  • 8 to 16

    store-bought or homemade baked meringue cookies (depending on the size of the meringue)

  • 2 cups

    cold heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Dice 1 pound strawberries and place in a large bowl. Finely grate the zest of 1/2 medium lemon and set aside. Juice the lemon until you have 1 tablespoon, then add the juice and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar to the strawberries, and toss to combine.

  2. Coarsely crush 2 to 4 meringue cookies with your fingers, or place them in a plastic ziptop bag and coarsely crush with the bottom of a small saucepan or rolling pin.

  3. Place 2 cups cold heavy cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (Alternatively, use a large bowl and electric hand mixer.) Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes.

  4. Add the crushed meringues and 2/3 of the strawberries to the whipped cream and gently fold together with a rubber spatula. Evenly divide the mixture between 4 coupes, short glasses, or small bowls. Top with the remaining strawberries and sprinkle with the lemon zest.

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