This week is turning out to be a good one, which considering the circumstances of the previous weeks and days, this in my eyes is quite an achievement. One of the highlights is that I managed some baking. Big whoop you say. Well for me it is. The real kind of baking – the one where I creamed sugar and butter, and mixed in eggs and flour. Not all baking has to be like that mind you, and I sure am a massive advocate for simple bakes. (I have such a great recipe coming your way in the coming weeks which is the personification of simplicity. Watch out for that. Hint: you’ll get so many brownie points if you make it for your friends, you wouldn’t believe.) Baking makes me feel cozy and makes the environment more familiar. I need that in my life right now. It’s as though I’m making friends with my old kitchen again. Not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.
I have always been a fan of Eton Mess. It’s such a quick thing to assemble, making an ideal something sweet at the end of a meal. I have tried different versions of this over the years and the classic one using strawberries has to be my top choice. I usually buy raspberries by the bucket and when in season you will always find them almost falling out of my fridge. I like to add them with pancakes, in cakes, in smoothies and milkshakes, in porridge, mixed in plain Greek yoghurt, and alone with a smidgen of icing sugar. So I couldn’t see why they wouldn’t work in a recipe such as this one. I based the idea on a recipe found in Sabrina Ghayour‘s Persiana, one of this year’s big hits, review found here. I didn’t have rosewater to hand so I used orange flower water, which looking back is a tribute to the Mediterranean. (Adding the basil leaves would have given it more of an Italian vibe, but I just forgot about those altogether). Very appropriate me thinks, so I varied the quantities quite a bit. Of course I also made loads of sauce, much more than it is needed here, and had plenty of leftover raspberry goodness to make these pretty muffins featured in this blog some weeks ago. This recipe will give you 6 servings.
For the meringue and cream layer:
- 600ml double cream
- 3 tablespoons icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon good quality vanilla extract
- 6 ready-made meringues, crushed into bite-sized pieces
For the sauce:
- 500g raspberries
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- 1 level tablespoon orange flower water
- squeeze of orange juice
For the topping:
- handful of pistachio nuts, left whole or chopped into slivers (optional)
In a clean mixing bowl, whip the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract to form soft peaks. I prefer to use a large whisk and whip everything by hand instead of an electric beater. You will have more control over the consistency of the cream. Mix in the crushed meringues
To make the sauce, simply mash the raspberries making sure to leave some chunks of fruit whole or in big pieces. To that add the icing sugar, orange flower water and orange juice. Taste and add some more icing sugar if needed, especially if the fruit are out of season.
To assemble, distribute the as equally as possible the meringue and cream mixture between six glasses and top with the raspberry sauce and pistachios. Sprinkle some icing sugar through a little sieve if desired.
(Recipe very loosely adapted from Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond, Mitchell Beazley, 2014.)
Have a browse through the C&T archive:
One year ago: Easy bite
Two years ago: Lentil Soup
Three years ago: Herby Chicken