Ready for the easiest, quickest and festive summer dessert? This summer berry Eton mess is all those things and so much more! It's my answer to the easiest 4th of July dessert and could be my new favorite summer dessert. Bakers, non-bakers, people who just like to eat fresh, ripe berries with whipped cream (so basically everyone), this impossibly easy dessert is for you! Read on to find out why I will be eating this all summer long.
What is an Eton mess?
It's as the name implies, a beautiful and delicious mess consisting of whipped cream, berries and crushed meringues. Originally created at Eton College, it's a distinctly English dessert.
A popular myth (though most likely untrue): Eton Mess was first created when a meringue dessert was accidentally crushed by a Labrador while traveling to a picnic at Eton College. But, it was salvaged and served as a crushed meringue with strawberries and cream. If you ask me, I'd say that's a pretty fun way to create a brand new dessert!
Eton mess vs. trifle : What's the difference?
- Eton mess: traditionally English dessert made from whipped cream, berries and crushed meringues
- Trifle: an English dessert made from layers of fruit, sponge cake (usually soaked in a sweet liqueur), custard and/or whipped cream
This summer berry Eton mess samples the best parts of each type of dessert. for this version:
- A mix of fresh summer berries are macerated in elderflower liqueur.
- The whipped cream is mixed with yogurt for a creamier filling.
- Elderflower liqueur is used to both elevate and complement the floral notes of the berries.
- Crushed meringues are store bought- promise not to tell if you don't! also this makes this dessert the easiest version ever!
This easy summer dessert is:
- Simple to make
- Crunchy meringue pieces
- Filled with all the summer berries
- The perfect last minute dessert
- A fancy version of a berry trifle
Short + sweet ingredient list:
- An assortment of fresh summer berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.
- Sweetener of choice
- Elderflower liqueur or elderflower cordial (non alcoholic)
- Greek yogurt or other thick, creamy yogurt
- Vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon
- Heavy whipping cream
- I use these
From these ingredients you will make the elderflower soaked berries, creamy whipped yogurt filling and the crushed meringues.
What you'll need to make an Eton mess:
- Stand mixer with whisk attachment or hand mixer with beaters.
- 6-8 (8 oz./237ml) containers for serving such as:
The best way to make and serve this easy summer dessert:
- Make this in layers in a glass container for the most beautiful dessert.
- To strain or not to strain: This is up to you!
- Keeping the berry juices makes the overall look, messier.
- Straining the juices is a cleaner look.
- To strain or not to strain: This is up to you!
- Serve this summer berry Eton mess no more than 1-4 hours after making it, if possible. At around four hours, the whipped cream can begin to separate.
more easy summer desserts
- strawberry pretzel cheesecake (no bake)
- summer berry icebox cake
- blackberry tiramisu icebox cake
- margarita pie (freezer cake)
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summer berry Eton mess
- stand mixer with whisk attachment or hand mixer with beaters
- large mixing bowl
- 6-8 (8oz) serving bowls, jars or cups
macerated berry mix
- 4-5 c mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
- 3-4 tbsp (45-60ml) maple syrup, maple sugar or granulated sugar
- 2-3 tbsp (30-45ml) elderflower liqueur, optional
whipped yogurt filling
- 2/3 c (187g) greek yogurt or other thick yogurt
- 2 tsp (10ml) vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/3 - 1/2 c (67- 100g) caster or granulated sugar
- 3-4 tbsp (45ml-60ml) elderflower liqueur, optional
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c (237ml) heavy whipping cream
- 12-18 store bought or homemade meringues, lightly crushed to various sized pieces
making the Eton mess
- Wash, pat dry and slice berries to roughly the same size, as needed. Place all berries in a large mixing bowl with sweetener of choice and elderflower liqueur if using. Gently mix to fully coat the berries in the sweetener and liqueur. Let sit for 30-60 minutes. Give berries a gentle stir every 15-20 minutes. When assembling the Eton mess, you have the option to spoon the berries with the released juices. To avoid adding extra juice, use a slotted spoon or strain berries through a mess strainer right before assembling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add the yogurt, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, sugar, elderflower liqueur, and salt. Whisk on low-medium speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. On medium speed, stream in (1 c, 237ml) heavy whipping cream. Increase the speed from medium to high. Whisk on high until medium-medium stiff peaks form. The peak of cream on the tip of the whisk or beater should have a slight bend at the peak.
assembling the Eton mess
- Select bowls, jars or cups with a 6-8oz. capacity.
- Layer the serving bowl, jar or cup in this order: berries, sweetened whipped yogurt filling, crushed meringues. Repeat layering until the container is full. Serve immediately or cover and chill in the fridge for 1-4 hours. If chilling longer than 4 hours, the texture of the whipped cream can change and may not be as smooth.