An Eton Mess with Strawberries is similar to an English trifle with alternating layers of sweet cream and orange infused strawberries, topped with crumbled meringue cookies. It originates from Eton College in England. This recipe differs slightly as it also has ricotta cheese mixed in. Never mind the history, it's just a really delicious dessert!
Why I love this recipe
• It's super simple to make and so tasty! It's my new favorite dessert!
• The combination of textures - the creamy layer with the crispy meringue cookies - is so satisfying!
• If you use store bought meringue cookies, the recipe is no-bake and can be whipped up in minutes.
• Perfect for a dinner party, plus the name is a great conversation starter.
• You could make this traditional English dessert for an afternoon tea party or cricket match!
What you need
• Heavy Cream - Use heavy whipping cream and make sure it's very cold, so it will be nice and fluffy when you beat it. Don't use Cool Whip.
• Ricotta Cheese - Whole milk ricotta cheese gives this recipe a nice, rich flavor
• Orange Juice - Fresh squeezed tastes the best, if you have it.
How to make Eton Mess with strawberries
- Place hulled and chopped strawberries in a large bowl. Add two tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons orange juice, stir to combine. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, place the cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and ricotta cheese.
- Beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add 16 crushed meringue cookies. (To make homemade meringues, beat 3 room temperature egg whites, ¼ t. cream of tartar and ⅛ t. salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add ⅔ cup sugar, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in 1 t. vanilla. Place 2 T. dollops of meringue onto parchment paper lined baking sheets such as Nordic Ware Half Sheet Pans. Recipe makes 24 Bake at 250°F for 45 minutes. Turn oven off and leave cookies in for one hour.) I used a KitchenAid Hand Mixer.
5. Fold crushed meringue cookies into whipped cream mixture.
6. Alternate layers of the cream mixture and the strawberry sauce in 8 ounce mason jars (you'll need 6). Top with more crushed meringue pieces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it ok to mix the cream and ricotta mixture by hand? Yes, you can whisk by hand instead of using an electric mixture but keep in mind that it will take much longer and take lots of elbow grease.
Can I make this Eton Mess recipe ahead? Yes, you can make it one day ahead. Make sure you keep the meringue cookies at room temperature. Do not fold them into the cream mixture until you're ready to serve. Place the cream mixture and berries in separate bowls (covered) in the refrigerator overnight.
Can I use different berries? Yes, you can substitute raspberries or use a combination of both.
• Best on First Day - This British dessert tastes the best on the first day because you want the meringue cookies to be crunchy, not soft.
• Make Meringues Ahead - You can make the meringue cookies the day before, if you wish. Just keep them in the cooled oven overnight.
• Try Frozen Berries - If you don't have fresh strawberries, you can use frozen. Make sure to thaw them first.
• Add Orange Liqueur - For a little extra flavor, add an orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier to the berry mixture of your Eton Mess with Strawberries.
Eton Mess with Strawberries
For the meringue cookies
- You'll need to make the cookies first. Preheat oven to 250°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar with a mixer on medium until soft peaks form. Add ⅔ cup sugar (one tablespoon at a time), until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight up). Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Scoop dollops of meringue onto prepared pan (about 2 tablespoons). You should have 12 dollops per pan. Bake on the middle rack of oven for 45 minutes. Turn off oven (do not open door) and let cookies stand in closed oven for one hour.
For the Eton mess
- Place chopped strawberries in large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and orange juice. Stir to combine. Let stand for 30 minutes or until berries have released their juices, stirring once or twice. Set aside.
- Place ricotta cheese, cream, powdered sugar, and 1 t. vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer on low until combined. Increase speed and beat for 2-3 minutes or until mixture is thick and fluffy. Use your hands to crumble about 16 cookies over cream mixture. Use a spatula to fold it in.
- To prepare the individual desserts, spoon ricotta mixture into six 8-ounce glasses. Top with berries and remaining cookies (crushed by hand). Or you can have two layers each of the cream mixture and the berries, if you wish. Top with fresh mint. Serve immediately.