Traditional recipes

Strawberry-Basil Eton Mess

Strawberry-Basil Eton Mess

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If you’ve never heard of Eton Mess, you’ll be thankful we’re introducing you to it. This traditional English dessert is essentially a pavlova parfait made with layers of crunchy, slightly sweet meringue, creamy whipped cream, and fresh berries. Our version is much lower in sugar, but equally delicious. The key to perfect meringue is to let it dehydrate fully—for this recipe, spreading it out in a thin layer helps it cook faster. And because you’re breaking it up, the shapes and sizes don’t matter.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 250°F. Beat together egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar with an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment on high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Slowly sprinkle in 1/4 cup of the sugar, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, about 1 more minute. Spread meringue in a 1/2-inch layer over a silicone mat or a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned and firm, 60 to 70 minutes. Let cool completely, about 2 hours, at room temperature. Break into bite-sized pieces.

Step 2

While meringue cools, toss together strawberries, basil leaves, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a bowl. Let stand, tossing occasionally, until strawberries have released liquid and have become syrupy, about 1 hour.

Step 3

When ready to serve, beat together cream and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a cold medium bowl with electric mixer on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gently fold in yogurt. Divide broken meringue pieces among 8 (8-oz.) cups; layer with whipped yogurt, and top with berries. Repeat layers, ending with a sprinkle of meringue on top. Garnish with basil. Serve within 20 minutes of preparing.

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