Like many people remember the first time they heard a song, I remember the first time I encountered recipes. I can tell you that the Eton Mess and I first crossed paths one weeknight during high school. I was sitting on the sofa, watching Jamie Oliver instead of studying and he was planning a picnic for a friend. I remember him preparing lobster sandwiches or something equally as decadent and for dessert he prepared an Eton Mess. Meringues, nuts, and fruits all cobbled together with fluffy whipped cream…my oh my.
The recipe gets its name from the famous English boys school, alma mater to many a British PM and tonnes of British royalty. Wikipedia tells me it was traditionally served at the annual cricket game against The Harrow school. It also tells me it’s traditionally a mix of strawberries, meringue and whipped cream.
What I can tell you is that it’s pure deliciousness and pure simplicity. I love serving “DIY desserts”. Mini pavlovas with toppings, a Sundae buffet or cupcakes to decorate. This dessert falls into the same category, serve the peaches and other fixings on a large platter with glasses or bowls for people to create their own mess. I’ve put my own twist on it by omitting the berries (gasp) and using beautiful summer peaches. But feel free to keep the berries in, nothing but good will come of it.
- 2 peaches de-stoned and halved
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 cup cream whipped
- 50g store-bought meringues (these are stocked in most major supermarkets, in Australia they are called meringues and in the US I have seen them in Trader Joe’s labelled as vanilla meringue cookies). Using store bought meringues makes this recipe super quick and easy to whip up at the last minute, but if you’d rather make your own you can check Joanne’s Pavlova recipe which includes a simple recipe.
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- In a small bowl mix together the cinnamon and brown sugar
- In a small frying pan melt the butter. Dip the open face of the peaches in the brown sugar and add to the butter in frying pan.
- Cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes until the peaches are caramelised. Turn over and repeat
- Place the grilled peaches in a glass or bowl, top with the whipped cream, walnuts and meringues.
- Serve immediately.