By Simon Arkless, head chef,

Terrace RestaurantSt Leonards Vineyard CaféThousand Pound Wine Bar & Store

 

Being a pom I didn’t think I could give you a pavlova recipe, so instead have gone for one of England’s best-loved and prettiest desserts. Eton mess is an absolute joy to eat. Its sublime proportions of crumbled crisp meringue, softly whipped cream and marinated strawberries need little further embellishment - the beauty of this delicate dessert is in its simplicity.

 

The trick to making great meringues is patience. To ensure a perfect crisp crust, always leave them to cool in the oven after baking, you can always make the meringues in advance: they’ll keep for a few days stored in an airtight container.

 

In this recipe, I’ve used raspberries as well as just the traditional strawberries. This dessert is great for the whole family, but if you want to turn it into a more adult version you can macerate the berries in your favourite booze, maybe gin or even better some All Saints Estate Muscat!

 

Ingredients

750 gm strawberries, quartered, plus extra to serve
110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar
200 ml thickened cream, lightly whisked
125 gm crème fraîche
55 gm (½ cup) pure icing sugar, sieved
Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean
125 gm raspberries

Meringues

100 gm eggwhite (about 3 eggs)
100 gm caster sugar
100 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
15 gm cornflour

 

Method

For meringues, preheat oven to 120C. Whisk egg white and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until firm peaks form (3-4 minutes). With motor running, gradually add caster sugar and whisk until thick and glossy (2-3 minutes). Sieve icing sugar and cornflour over, fold to combine, then spoon 8cm-diameter mounds onto oven trays lined with baking paper. Bake until meringues lift easily from trays and are crisp but not coloured (45-50 minutes), then turn off oven and cool completely in oven.

 

Meanwhile, toss strawberries and caster sugar in a large bowl to combine, then set aside until juices begin to seep (20 minutes).

 

To Serve

Scatter Eton mess with raspberries and extra strawberries on a plate of arrange in glasses and serve.

 

Wine Match: 2018 St Leonards Vineyard Moscato

"The tropical flavours of the 2019 All Saints Estate Moscato and the 2018 St Leonards Vineyard Moscato pair beautifully with the summer berries in this dish while the light acidity cuts through the meringue and the cream. It’s the perfect summer pairing!”

Angela Brown