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Eton mess

Time 2 hours
Yields Serves 12
Eton mess
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Meringues

1

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add half the sugar, and continue beating until the peaks have re-formed. Stop beating and fold in the remaining sugar.

2

Place 12 equal-sized dollops of the meringue mixture on the papered sheets. Put the sheets in the oven for five minutes, then open the door and reduce the temperature to 275 degrees. Close the oven door and continue to cook for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. The meringues will be ready when they are a pale golden color and can be lifted effortlessly from the paper.

1

Hull the strawberries and halve them, or if they are very large, cut them into quarters. Place them in the bottom of a large bowl.

2

Break the meringues into bite-sized pieces, and scatter them over the strawberries. Lightly whip the cream, and spoon it over the meringues and strawberries.

3

Gently fold until mixed together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill, then serve as soon as possible (best eaten within a few hours). One irresistible addition is a great quantity of vanilla ice cream thrown in at the last moment.

This recipe makes 12 good-sized meringues, but you’ll use only 8 in the mess, so you’ll have 4 to do with as you choose. As this recipe involves whisking egg whites, it is worth reiterating here that you should ensure your mixing bowl is scrupulously clean before you start. Have a large metal spoon on hand for folding.

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