This delicious mixture of strawberries, meringue and cream was traditionally served at Eton College at the annual prize giving ceremony on the fourth of June ( Confusingly actually held on the last Wednesday in May.) An apocryphal story has it that the first "mess" was caused by an excitable Labrador, sitting on a picnic basket on the way to the event. The school's historical anecdotes say that a mixture, using either strawberries or bananas, was certainly served in the school's tuck shop, during the 1930's. The term "mess" may refer to the appearance of the dish. ( Some say that "mess" refers to any type of soft food mixed together.) Whatever the case, this light, sweet, treat is a prize winning dish at any event.
450 grams ( about 1lb ) Strawberries
250 grams ready made Meringue shells
250 ml Whipping Cream
Wash, hull & cut the strawberries into quarters
Break the meringues into bite sized pieces
Whip the cream until it thickens but it's not too stiff ( closer to pouring than peaking)
Mix all together
Chill and serve.
You can vary this by adding a splash of Cassis or Kirsch( strawberry sauce or puree if serving to children. ) Some people like to substitute low fat yogurt for half the cream but most prefer the indulgence of the traditional version.
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