A dessert that is said to originate at Eton College, 'Eton Mess' which is a mixture of fruit, cream and crushed meringue. My variation contains a little balsamic vinegar to boost the flavour of the fruit. It’s an economical dish, particularly if you get the meringues from discount shelves at a supermarket – where they come ready crushed – and strawberries that are marked down in price because they are nearly past their best.
500g (1lb 2oz) strawberries
400ml (14fl oz) double cream
3 x 7.5cm (3in) meringue nests, crushed into small chunks
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Grand Marnier (optional)
Hull the strawberries (remove the green tops) and purée half in a blender. Chop the other half into small dice
Whip the double cream until stiff, and fold in the strawberry purée and crushed meringue. Mix the chopped strawberries in the vinegar and fold them in as well. Stir in a tbsp or so of Grand Marnier to add a bit of orangey spice, if you like.
Divide between cold wine glasses and serve, or keep in the fridge until needed (but for no longer than a couple of hours)