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4th of July Mess

This festive, colorful, and cool dessert is a perfect way to salute the red, white and blue of our flag! This fruity, creamy bowl of goodness is a variation of a very English dessert called Eton mess.  What better way to celebrate our country’s independence from the Crown than making their dessert even better! 

Try this dessert with a Dineen Viognier! The peaches, mango, honey and cream leap from the glass. The long, lingering, ripe finish provides a stunning counterpoint to the cream, meringue and red berries of this "4th of July Mess".

Right now, local berries are in full season and delicious. See here for local sources in the Yakima Valley area.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS:

Meringue:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted

Macerated Berries:

  • 3 pints fresh berries – Raspberries, Blueberries & Strawberries (hulled and quartered).
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar

Homemade Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 210°F & line two baking sheets with silicon baking pads or parchment paper.
  2. Whip the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl using an electric mixer until they reach stiff peaks. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, re-whipping until the whole thing is shiny and very stiff.
  3. Spoon or pipe 2-inch dollops of the mixture onto the baking parchment. Bake for 45-60 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave for an additional 10-15 minutes until the meringues are hard and come off the paper easily. Take out and leave to cool. (Note: this will make more meringue than you need)
  4. Prepare your berries by tossing them in a large bowl with the lemon juice and sugar. Let the berries macerate to produce some juice, stirring them once or twice during this process.
  5. To prepare your homemade whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream and sugar (optional) to a bowl. Using the electric mixer on medium speed, whip the cream until it begins to thicken. Continue whipping for several minutes until the cream is fluffy but not too firm. Add the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
  6. Once the meringues have cooled and the berries have produced a bit of juice, you’re ready to assemble the dessert!

To assemble mini messes, place one meringue, slightly crushed, in the bottom of a mason jar or bowl. Top with berries and whipped cream. Repeat this process again 2 times. Finish with an extra dollop of whipped cream and additional berries to garnish. Serve immediately.

To assemble one big mess, put in half the berries, the cream mixture and 3/4 of the meringues (crushed). Rapidly fold together with a large spoon. Put into a large serving bowl and put the rest of the fruit on top. Serve immediately.

Note: The most time-consuming part of this is making the meringues. If you are in a rush, you can use store bought. It will still be festive!