Eton Mess

Sure, chocolate’s the expected choice for a Valentine’s Day dessert, but c’mon, doesn’t this sweet and glossy raspberry dream look festive and romantic too?

A traditional English dessert, Eton Mess is commonly made with strawberries, layered with meringue and whipped cream, and it’s named for the college in the UK where it was created back in the 1800s. This variation, adapted from the Barefoot Contessa, features plump, glorious raspberries. The sweet meringue pieces contrast the tangy berries and add a delightful crispy crunch, and it all swirls together on your spoon with the help of fresh whipped cream.

To top it off, Eton Mess is a cinch to make. The raspberry sauce takes but a few minutes on the stove and you even get to cheat and use store-bought meringue. It’s fun to layer all the goodies in a tall glass — but make sure it’s clear class or the whole Valentine-y effect will fall flat!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Eton Mess

From Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? ©2010


    • 6 (6-ounce) packages fresh raspberries, divided
    • 1½ cups plus ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1½ tablespoons framboise liqueur
    • 2½ cups cold heavy cream
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 5 to 6 (3-inch) bakery meringue shells, broken in pieces

1. Pour 3 packages of the raspberries, 1½ cups of the sugar, and the lemon juice into a 10-inch saute pan. Crush the berries lightly with a fork and bring the mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is syrupy. Fold the remaining 3 packages of raspberries and the framboise into the hot mixture and refrigerate until very cold.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream, the remaining  ¼ cup of sugar, and the vanilla together on medium-high speed until it forms firm peaks.

3. In decorative glasses, layer a spoonful of the whipped cream, a spoonful of the raspberry mixture, and then a few meringue pieces. Repeat until the glasses are full, ending with berries and a dollop of cream. Serve immediately or chill for an hour, until ready to serve.

Serves 9

What’s your favorite sweet treat for Valentine’s Day?


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