Cranberry-Raspberry Eton Mess
by Julie Van Rosendaal
If you’re looking for a new holiday dessert idea, Eton Mess, made with bashed-up meringues topped with tangy fruit and cream, is sweet-tart, creamy and crunchy, and all the elements can be made ahead of time and assembled when everyone is ready for it. It does well with tart berries, and cranberries with raspberries create a stunning contrast to the snowy white meringue and cream. Layer the ingredients in individual goblets, bowls or even champagne flutes, or make one Eton Mess to serve family-style in a trifle bowl.
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. cornstarch
3 large egg whites
1/2 t. vanilla
1-1/2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries
1-1/2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. whipping cream
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 250° F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar mixture a spoonful or two at a time, beating until the mixture holds stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in the vanilla.
Drop the meringue in large spoonfuls onto the baking sheet, leaving an inch or two between each one for spreading. Bake for 1 hour, or until they’re just barely golden and dry. Turn off the oven, open the door and leave them inside as the oven cools, or take them out and leave them on the sheet until they cool completely. Peel them off the foil or parchment.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, raspberries and sugar with about 1/2 c. water and cook over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the berries pop and soften and look saucy. Set aside to cool completely, then refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until it stands in soft peaks. To serve, crumble the meringues into individual serving dishes (or one large trifle dish) and layer with the cooled fruit and whipped cream. Serves 8.