Strawberry Eton Mess Parfait

This English dessert adds softly whipped cream to strawberries and meringue cookies. The name "Eton" is used because the dessert was first created for Eton College, one of Britain's most famous public schools. "Mess" is used because everything is just mixed together. Make your own meringue cookies or use the store-bought variety. Buy two boxes then crumble one and break the other into large pieces to layer in the parfait. Garnish with more strawberries.

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour
Stand Time: 3 hours


Meringue Cookies: 2 egg whites 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cream of tartar 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar Eton Mess: 5 cups (1.25 L) Ontario Strawberries 2 tbsp (25 mL) granulated sugar 1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream

Cooking Instructions:

Meringue Cookies: In bowl of electric mixer and using whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Beat in cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, a little at a time, until stiff peaks form. Transfer meringue to pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch (1 cm) plain or star tip (or use 2 spoons). Pipe 2-inch (5 cm) rounds in rows on parchment paper-lined baking sheets to make 20 rounds. Bake in 250ºF (120ºC) oven for 1 hour, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through or until pale ivory and firm enough to lift from pan without sticking. (Test by removing 1 meringue and letting it cool for a few minutes. It should be crisp and dry when broken in half.) Turn off oven; open door and leave meringues in oven to dry for a few hours. Eton Mess: Place 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) of the strawberries in food processor along with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the sugar and 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice; process until puréed. Set aside. Slice remaining strawberries into bite-size pieces; place in bowl. Sprinkle remaining sugar over top; stir to combine. Break about 12 meringue cookies into bite-size pieces; set aside. In bowl, whip cream. With rubber spatula, gently fold in 1 cup (250 mL) of the strawberry purée. Just before serving, fold in 1 cup (250 mL) of the sliced strawberries and crumbled meringues. Fill 8 parfait or long-stemmed glasses half full of whipped cream mixture. Top with remaining sliced berries. Place 1 whole meringue cookie on top. Top with remaining whipped cream mixture. Drizzle remaining strawberry purée over top. Tip: Before placing cookies on cookie sheet, place a little meringue on underside of each corner of parchment paper to prevent paper from sliding.

Personal Story:

Whenever you find yourself with extra egg whites, whip up the meringue recipe below. They are super to have on hand for last minute yet impressive desserts.