No rest assured the name isn't a dig at the English, but this Eton Mess is Pommy due to the inclusion of Pomegranates. I bought some Pomegranates - they make a wonderful table decoration thanks Colin Cowie, and of course my favourite part of it was eating them afterwards. Some of my lovely readers have steered me towards the easiest way to remove the Pomegranate seeds after I talked about Nigella's way being possibly the messiest and least effective way of removing them. Just cut the Pomegranates in quarters and soak them in cold water for 10 minutes, bend back the skins and the seeds will be a cinch to pry off.
Originally Eton Mess was said to be a dessert served at Eton College's Annual Prize giving celebration picnic event held at the end of May. Ice cream expert Robin Weir, spoke to Eton's librarian who said that it was served in the 1930's "sock shop" or tuck shop/school cafeteria. And like many legends from the past, there's certainly a lot of stories, one of which is that the reason for its messy "squashed" appearance is due to a Labrador accidentally sitting on a picnic basket on the way to the picnic.
This is a really simple dessert really. Especially if you buy the meringue nests which of course I would have done but you know me, I love to make things from scratch (call it a sickness). I like a bit more meringue in my Eton Mess than the usual person so feel free to leave out a bit of the meringue content. I felt making meringue with only 1 egg white was not enough but 2 egg whites might possibly be overkill so use as much or as little as you like. I know that it's usually made with strawberries but please allow me some poetic license.
And I know that here in Australia we are in the throes of Winter having just barely survived our first month but this is also for you lucky people in the Northern Hemisphere who are lucky enough to be basking in the warmth of Summer. For my fellow Antipodeons, perhaps this is something to look forward to come Spring in seven week's time. I'm counting it down.
So tell me Dear Reader, what do you look forward to in Summer or are you currently enjoying about Summer if you happen to be in the Northern Hemisphere?
Pommy Eton Mess
An Original recipe by Not Quite Nigella
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
Or instead of the above 4 ingredients, purchase 4-5 meringue nests
- 400ml/13.52 fl. oz thick cream (or 150ml thick cream mixed with 150ml thick yogurt)
- 2/3 cup POM wonderful juice
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- Seeds from 1/2 a Pomegranate
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 100c/212F. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form in a clean bowl with a clean whisk. Add the sugar in 3-4 lots and beat until stiff peaks form. Using a metal spoon, fold in the cornflour and vinegar and spoon onto a lined baking sheet in a rough rectangle (it gets broken up into pieces so the shape doesn't really matter). Bake in oven for 60 minutes.
The Pomegranate syrup
Step 2 - Meanwhile reduce the Pomegranate juice. In a small saucepan, place Pomegranate juice and 2 tablespoons of sugar and simmer for 5-7 minutes until reduced in volume by half. You should get about 1/3 of cup of wonderfully delectable Pomegranate syrup. Cool.
Step 3 - When the meringue and syrup has cooled, crumble the meringue into rough pieces. Whip the cream and fold the crumbled meringue, Pomegranate seeds and syrup until just combined and serve immediately.