Frances Quinn’s Elderflower Eton Mess

Eton Mess is a quintessential British dessert and therefore Frances couldn’t think of a better dish to give a Belvoir Elderflower twist to. Like the elderflower season, Eton Mess was actually invented in the month of June at Eton College back in the 1930’s… 30mls of Belvoir Elderflower is actually the amount that goes into the elderflower cream, which along with fresh strawberries also has elderflower meringues made using my homemade elderflower sugar. Traditionally served up at Eton’s annual cricket game every year, it’s lovely to think that this year Frances’ own Eton Mess recipe was dished up at Belvoir’s very own first-ever Elderflower Festival; at Knipton Cricket Club no less!

Serves 4 Prep time Bake time
Frances Quinn’s Elderflower Eton Mess

Ingredients

Elderflower Meringues

3 egg whites
150g elderflower sugar*

Elderflower Cream

300ml double cream
30ml Belvoir Fruit Farms’ Elderflower Cordial

*Elderflower Sugar

1 Tbsp fresh elderflowers or 1 Tsp dried elderflowers
100g caster sugar

300g of strawberries
Fresh elderflowers, to decorate

Method

Preheat the oven to 100C fan/110C conventional fan/ gas mark 1/4

Elderflower Meringue

Line a large baking sheet or roasting tray with non-stick parchment paper.
When you have made your meringue mixture you can dab a small amount on to the corners of the paper to stick it on to the tray like edible glue!
Sift and weigh out the elderflower sugar into a bowl, catching any of the flowers in the sift itself to re-use.
In a spotlessly clean bowl whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the *elderflower sugar a tablespoon at a time, continuously whisking as you do until all the sugar has been added and a thick, shiny meringue is created.
Place rounded tablespoonfuls of the meringue on to the lined baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour. After which time, turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven to dry out ideally overnight or until the oven is completely cold.

Once the meringues have baked and cooled, break them into pieces in a bowl and prepare the rest of the pudding.
Remove 2 good looking strawberries and slice in half to use to decorate with. De-hull and chop the rest of the strawberries.

Whisk the cream and cordial together until soft peaks form. Carefully fold through the chopped up strawberries and broken up meringue pieces, leaving some of the pieces to decorate with at the end. Divide and transfer the mixture into 4 tumbler glasses and decorate with the remaining meringue crumbled up, the fresh strawberry halves and sprig of fresh elderflowers.

*Layer up the sugar with the elderflowers in a clean jar a day before using. Ideally I would recommend making a few batches and making it up at least a week in advance. The sugar will keep for 6 months or longer and it helps to shake the jar on occasion to distribute the elderflower oils and flavour amongst the sugar.