I sometimes wonder if analysis of the most used words on this blog would bring up “quick” and “easy” (Blogger, why haven’t you invented this handy tool?). If they are, what does this say about me? Congenital laziness? Impatient greed? Busy yuppiness? All of the above?
Anyway, this pudding is a) quick, b) easy, c) yummy, d) Jamie Oliver, e) has pretentions to healthiness. I know, it’s pretty much the Ur-Recipe for this blog. And yet it turns out that I have barely posted any puddings on here so far! I am shocked, and saddened, but I think it’s because we tend to have either yoghurt with fruit, which isn’t exactly bloggable, or ice cream. And until we get those wedding presents delivered, including (hallelujah!) an ice cream maker, the ice cream isn’t bloggable either – unless I were to write “get Ben and Jerry’s out of freezer. Open. Eat. Try to exert will power to stop”.
This Eton Mess is basically our standard pudding of yoghurt with fruit, made slightly more exciting by adding booze and meringue. Eton Mess is, of course, delicious to an unholy degree and one of the best things about Summer – and this is a nice version of it. But I don’t think this is the ultimate Eton Mess. It’s up to you decide if you’ll prioritise the Platonic Ideal of Eton Mess, or your arteries and electric whisk.
You see, by swapping yoghurt for whipped cream, this recipe is easier, quicker and healthier. But it’s not quite as pillowy and delicious. Still very nice, I won’t lie. But it’s not as rich, and although the booze is very tasty, when combined with the yoghurt it makes the whole thing quite sloppy. You could drink this if you wanted to. But I like the kind of Eton Mess where you can lick the bowl out afterwards and swipe any remaining lumps with a finger. This is not that kind of Eton Mess.
So in conclusion - yes, this is yummy and yes, it would tick the boxes of "quick" and "easy". But Summer perfection? Not yet. Next time we have Eton Mess, there will definitely be whipped cream. And hopefully, a sunny patch in a garden and the Sunday papers.
(Sort of) Eton Mess
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals
Serves 4-6 depending on how greedy you are
- pack of strawberries, washed, hulled and cut in half or sliced (we had 400g)
- dessertspoonful of (vanilla) sugar
- good slug of Pimm’s
- if you’ve got it, some orange zest and juice. We didn’t, so just left it out.
- 1 pot of yoghurt
- pack of meringue nests
Sloosh the Pimm's and sugar over the strawberries and leave to macerate. Right before you want to eat, stir in the yoghurt and the crumbled meringue and eat immediately before the meringue goes soggy.