Elegant Eton Mess

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The only work in this gorgeous-looking and deliciously delicate dessert is the making of the meringues. The rest is just assembly.

Serves: 4
Ingredients
2 large free-range egg whites
115g white caster sugar
1 large punnet strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1 punnet raspberries
1 punnet blueberries
250ml cream, softly whipped
50g pistachio nuts, chopped, to garnish (optional)

directions

Method

To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/gas 1 and line 2 large baking sheets with baking parchment.
Tip the egg whites into a very clean, large mixing bowl and whisk the eggs with an electric hand whisk (or in a mixer) until they hold soft peaks. Begin adding the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously, until you have a thick and glossy meringue, which will hold a stiff peak on the end of the whisk.

Fit a piping bag with a small (1cm) nozzle and fill with meringue mix. Hold the piping bag about 2cm vertically above the baking tray. Apply an even pressure to the bag, slowly lifting the bag as you squeeze, to make a smooth round meringue, approximately 3cm wide. To finish with a nice peak at the top, push down a little on the mixture then quickly pull the nozzle away. Continue until all the mixture in the bag is used up, leaving enough room for the meringues to spread a little.

Bake for 1 hour, turning the heat down to 120°C/100°C fan/gas ½ for the final 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Serve in elegant glasses, layering up the meringues, cream and berries in the glass. Top with a dollop of fresh cream and a sprinkle of crushed pistachio nut. Store leftover meringues in an airtight container, lined with a sheet of kitchen paper (to draw moisture away) and they should keep for up to a week.

TRY THIS: You can of course totally cheat and use smashed up shop bought meringue. The taste and texture of the meringue won’t be the same but it makes a great instant dessert.