Summery Eton Mess

August 12, 2016

Eton Mess isn’t necessarily the first thing that you’d think of as a light and totally moorish summer dessert. But here is a case where you can have your Eton Mess and eat it.

Eton Mess?
For the non British: Eton Mess derives its name from Eton college (known as the school of the British crème de la crème). It has been served at the annual Eton-Harrow cricket match since the 1930’s. Originally, it was a composition of strawberries and cream or ice cream. Meringue was only introduced in the 1970’s. Mess comes from the presentation of the dish. It might as well just be a gloriously messy Pavlova.

Having come to English cuisine with a cynical European eye I soon discovered that this small island offers a baffling array of deliciously unhealthy desserts – easily the match of anything found on the continent.

Summery Eton Mess

My ‘Summery Eton Mess’ is a festival of seasonal fruits mixed with a Greek yoghurt cream and meringue. By combining the cream with the same amount of Greek yoghurt and substituting sugar with maple syrup, you give your Eton Mess a much lighter feeling. Feel free to use any other fruits that you come across, as long as they are ripe. This really is a dessert where you can let your imagination play without going the risk of a faux-pas.

Summery Eton Mess

The Peach
A perfectly ripe and juicy peach is possibly one of the most amazing summer fruits. They originate from China where they are seen as both uplifting and rejuvenating. In literature the peach has often been seen as an allegory for the fleshy pleasures of a woman’s intimate parts.

Health Benefits:

  • Weight Management – integrating peaches/nectarines into your diet can help prevent diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity due to its phenolic compounds.
  • Diuretic – with their potassium, phosphorus and magnesium content, they can assist in draining water surplus from your body as well as counter the effects of too much salt in your diet. They can also serve as a gentle laxative.
  • Skin – peaches are a good source of vitamin C, which is important in the production of collagen. In addition, lutein, can help to fight free radical damage and maintain healthy skin.

PS. This is my first post for a year. Life has thrown up a few significant curveballs in the intervening months but as Nietzsche famously said: “Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” I am back now, ready to cook some beautifully simple recipe with you.

Lots of love,
Françoise signature

Summery Eton Mess

serves 4

Peach Raspberry Coulis
75g raspberries
1/2 vanilla pod – seeds scraped
1tbsp maple syrup  optional!

Greek Yoghurt Cream
150ml greek yoghurt
150g double cream
1tbsp maple syrup 
1/2 vanilla pod – seeds scraped

To Finish
200g strawberries
50g meringue
physalis or mint – for decoration


  1. Start with the coulis. Put all the ingredients into the blender, blitz until smooth. Set aside. You could pass it through a sieve – I personally preferred it more rustic.
  2. Take a bowl and add all the ingredients of the Greek yoghurt cream. Whisk, preferably with a handheld electric mixer, until you get the consistency of a velvety cream. Set aside.
  3. Cut the strawberries into cubes. Set aside.
  4. Crumble the meringue into small pieces.

 Those 4 steps can be prepared in advance.

Just before serving:

  1. Take 4 glasses. Add alternate spoons of: cream, coulis, strawberry cubes and meringue. Decorate with mint or physalis.
  2. Enjoy!


  • Double the coulis – use the leftover the next day with your porridge or chia pudding.
  • Make a breakfast parfait – swap the meringue with chia pudding  and add your favourite granola.
  • Make it lactose free – use soy yoghurt or cashew nut cream instead of the cream and Greek yoghurt.
  • Change the taste – make the coulis with persimmon and blackberries. Add blueberries as the fresh fruit.
  • Prepare just before serving as the meringue will become soggy.

Print recipe here: Summery Eton Mess – Recipe

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