Eton Mess
Authorities generally agree that Eton Mess originated at Eton College, but the rest seems to be apocryphal: But whatever the true origins, it's a nice easy dessert to make, and a good thing to practice your meringues on.

Eton Mess
dessert veg
This is Delia Smith's version of the dish. I like the half-puréed strawberries which give it extra smoothness. Obviously you can use any fruit you fancy - bananas or raspberries wouldn't be unusual, I've got a feeling the version pictured here included blackcurrants. Or were they blueberries?

Serves 6

First Make Your Meringue:
You'll need 3 egg-whites-worth of meringue - I've included Delia's instructions for making them here too, but take a look at my meringue page.
It's best if they aren't at all chewy - make plenty of small ones which dry out better.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C).

First, have the caster sugar measured out ready, then place the egg whites in a scrupulously clean bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks that slightly tip over when you lift the whisk.
Next, add the caster sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, and continue to whisk until each tablespoon of sugar has been thoroughly whisked in.
Now simply take rounded dessertspoonfuls of the mixture and place them in rows on the lined baking tray. Place the baking tray in the oven on the centre shelf, turn the heat down to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C) and leave the meringues there for 1 hour.
After that, turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven to dry out overnight, or until the oven is completely cold.

Now Make the Mess:
When you're ready to make the pudding, chop half the strawberries and place them in a blender together with the icing sugar. Whiz the whole lot to a purée, then pass it through a nylon sieve to remove the seeds.

Now chop the rest of the strawberries and whip up the double cream to the floppy stage. All the above can be done in advance, but when you are ready to serve, break up the meringues into roughly 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces, place them in a large mixing bowl, add the chopped strawberries, then fold the cream in and around them.

After that, gently fold in all but about 2 tablespoons of the purée to give a marbled effect.
Finally, pile the whole lot into a serving dish, spoon the rest of the purée over the surface and serve as soon as possible.
A nice version of this classic - but don't add the meringues too soon before serving or they'll dissolve away to nothing.
Won't they Jenny?