I’ve been eyeing up the Sunday Baking Club entries for ages, and decided with a Wimbledon theme and my love of strawberries that I had to give it a go. Of course it would be the hottest day of the year, so windows open and and out to the garden. I don’t know why I’ve never seen this combo before, but I decided to combine Eton Mess with Pimms. What could go wrong? Nothing I reckon.
For those of you non-English types unfamiliar with Eton Mess and Pimms you are truly missing out. Eton Mess is a meringue, whipped cream and usually strawberry dessert served in a cup. Pimms is a gin-based drink generally served in the summer on ice with fizzy lemonade and various fruits including strawberries, cucumber and orange.
Ingredients: meringue – 4 large eggs, 115g caster sugar, 115g icing sugar, Cream: Double cream (as much as you want) and a couple of tablespoons of vanilla, Strawberry Pimms Sauce: A good glug of Pimms, a nice big shake from the caster sugar bag, a punnet of strawberries cut up without their leafy bits, and either orange juice or orange blossom flavouring (it was in the bargain bin…) Plus another half punnet of strawberries, halved and de-greened. Top with orange, mint leaves, more strawberries, cucumber (that last bit sounds foul, and is, cucumber covered in whipped cream, but the Ninja loved it).
Step One: Preheat fan-assisted oven to 100c. Husband suggests buying meringue nests, which would defeat the purpose since that’s the only baked bit of this dessert. So egg separating we go whilst he’s at the shop. Weasel only gets to stand back and watch, but I do let her tip the bowl of egg whites in the mixing bowl at the end. Put the egg whites in the mixer and zuzz on high for like 10 minutes until it goes all soft peaky (if you want real instructions that I ‘followed’, click here).
Step 2: Dig through baking cupboard to find sugar, which seems to be hidden under a mountain of raisins/sugar paste/cupcake cases. Knock over big glass jar of salt, spend next 10 minutes vacuuming it up whilst shouting at Weasel to stay on the chair. Good start.
Step 3: Forget you were meant to add the sugar, pop into piping bag and only realise when you have a sneaky taste of plain raw egg off the top of the bag. Doh. Squeeze back into the bowl. Weasel then added caster sugar one spoonful at a time into the mix whilst it was being whisked by the mixer. Fold in the icing sugar manually in a similar vain.
Step 4: Decide piping bags suck. Put whole of mixture into giant freezer bag, cut corner, and display amazing nest piping skills. Discover you have over-worked your meringue and give up. It’s going in a mess anyways so who cares what it looks like. Bake said concoction on some grease-proof paper on a baking tray for 1 hour 15. Scrape off when for some reason it all gets stuck.
Step 5: Pop strawberries into a saucepan with the glug of Pimms, sugar and some kind of orange flavouring of your choice. Boil down to a syrupy goo.
Step 6: Whilst boiling strawberries, clean your mixer and start whipping up your cream with vanilla.
Step 6: Layer into clear cups and glasses for the whole family. We didn’t put Pimms sauce on the kids’ desserts, but I’m sure there wasn’t any alcohol left so we could have done. Weasel didn’t get any strawberries either to avoid meltdown. She had meltdown anyway.
Ta-da! Make a diet version by doing what we did and just having this instead of dinner. Win! We felt a little guilty with the kids, so they got a ham sandwich too.
Husband’s verdict: He couldn’t believe no one had thought of this tastiness before. After claiming he would never be able to eat it all, he did.
Weasel’s Verdict: She cried, refused a conciliatory ham sandwich and then went to bed. Hmmm.
Ninja’s Verdict: That is one happy baby. Meringue got a funny face, but she still loved it. The whipped cream (which is practically full fat milk right?) went down a treat and strangely so did the cucumbers, which she ended up with all of ours.
We will definitely be having our Wimbledon tribute again, nom, nom, nom.