Learn how to make a beautifully light & simple dessert to welcome summer
Aside from Christmas, Swedish Midsummer or Midsommar, is my absolute favourite holiday. It is day of flowers in your hair, garden strawberries, singing snapsvisor (drinking songs) with snaps, new potatoes, pickled herring cake and it marks the start of summer. I may have lost some of you with the pickled herring, but I assure you it is delicious.
This year I wanted to create something a little different for our dessert and make a midsummer Eaton Mess with fresh berries, lots of strawberries and plenty of fresh whipped cream. Typically for assembling an Eton Mess you would roughly crush the meringue before topping it with cream and berries, but I left mine in large chunks for easy servings. Plus Bryan seemed to like the idea of stacking the cream and berries on top of big chunks of meringue, smørrebrød style, to have on the go / easy pickings for every time he walked by.
My strawberry plants all died this winter, and our new plants haven't produced anything yet so I bought a big basket from two little ladies on the side of the road. They were deliciously plump and ready to used in a welcoming summer dessert. I love these kind of desserts because they're so simple yet they are such a show stopping dessert. They're light and airy to satisfy that little sweet tooth after dinner or with a midday coffee, they are a safe dessert for crowds as it is gluten free and you can make them a couple days ahead of time. These meringues differ from traditional Pavlovas as I do not use vinegar or cornstarch in the recipe but they are essentially the same dessert with different roots and different stabilizers.
I N G R E D I E N T S
3 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar
3/4 cups granulated sugar
F R E S H W H I P P I N G C R E A M
3/4 cups of whipping cream
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
a couple drops of vanilla
T O P P I N G
You can top this dessert with any mixed berries you had, or strawberries and rhubarb, fresh peaches, passionfruit, mixed fruits, you can make a berry colouis to drizzel on top or even scoop a tart sorbet or ice cream & top to let it melt a bit.
S T E P S
Preheat oven to 200 °F (100°C)
1. In a cold and clean mixing bowl, you will beat egg whites until foamy; beat in cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in granulated sugar, 2 tbsp (25 mL) at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form.
2. I use a medium squeeze scoop and scoop out evenly spaced mounds. I use the back of the scoop to push a little nest inside as a catch all for extra whip and berries.
3. Bake on the center rack on the oven for about two hours or until dry and crisp. Try not to open the oven door throughout this process. After two hours you will turn the oven off and let them sit for an hour in oven. After an hour let them completely dry on a rack.
These can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days or individually wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer if you make extra.
For the whip & topping you will whip your cream in a bowl until smooth and top with whichever berries or fruits you want to add. To assemble, make a small tower of the meringues and top with dollops of whip and garnish with berries.
Years ago I went to chocolate school and throughout my schooling I really got into shared desserts -with friends or family. The concept is beautiful and makes for such an enjoyable way to finish the meal. You can serve this dessert onto smaller plates or hand everyone a soon and eat off the platter.
If you want to celebrate this true Midsommar style, make yourself a midsommarkrans -a flower crown with fresh blooms from the garden, pick up a bottle of akvavit to sing a song together around the table and welcome summer in with a harvest meal and this midsummer berry Eton mess.
as we say, skål friends and happy Midsummer. May this day welcome warmth for our homes, long sun dawdling evenings and productive harvets.