Eton Mess is a great strawberry dessert. Strawberries and meringue go so well together and making Eton mess ice cream is a little twist on a classic British recipe. You can make this ice cream with or without a machine and it’ll taste delicious either way. I’ll show you how.
I am still harvesting strawberries daily in our garden, grown from our strawberry towers, so I decided to make some ice cream. When you have extra fruit from a harvest, jam isn’t the only thing that you can make. Mixing up a big batch of fruity ice cream is most certainly as delicious alternative to making jam, and will allow you to enjoy the taste of fresh strawberries in alternative recipes. This ice cream really tastes like summer, just like other summer fruit dessert recipes like this raspberry tiramisu.
Adding meringue to this homemade, no churn, strawberry ice cream gives it a little crunch, a little texture and some extra sweetness. I love chunky ice cream. Finding the little chunks in each bite is like having an extra delicious little surprise.
What is Eton Mess?
Eton mess is a traditional English dessert make from meringue, cream and strawberries. It originated from the world famous Eton College. It is traditionally served during their annual cricket match to another college.
Other famous colleges have also created their own versions of a “mess” dessert over the years.
Not unlike a traditional Pavlova dessert, which uses the same ingredients. Eton mess is simply a messy mixture of the ingredients, with the meringue being crushed into pieces and mixed with fresh strawberries and the cream, which is whipped.
How to Make Eton Mess Ice Cream
The trouble when using juicy fruit in ice cream, is the ice crystals that form. This is due to the high water content of fruit such as strawberries. Ice crystals can ruin the texture of ice cream making it less creamy and smooth tasting.
So, what should we do to prevent ice crystals in ice cream? We roast the strawberries first.
Roasting the strawberries in the oven will help to dry out and caramelise the juices and flavour will be the same, if not, even better!
You can make this ice cream with or without a machine. If you want to use your machine, just follow the guidelines for your specific one, as they can all differ slightly. I still recommend to roast your strawberries first, it intensifies the strawberry flavour.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker. Start by roasting the strawberries. Wash the fruit and remove the stems, cut each one into half and lay out on a baking tray. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar and stick them in the oven at 150C (302F) for at least an hour, removing them from the oven halfway through to turn them over. Don’t allow the strawberries to caramelise too much and stick to the tray so keep an eye on them in the latter half of the cooking time. They may need a little less time or a little longer in the oven.
Once your strawberries are roasted, place them in a blender and blend until smooth. Allow the strawberry mixture to cool completely.
Once it has cooled, you can add the condensed milk and whip through thoroughly.
You need to whip your double or heavy cream separately until it forms medium stiff peaks (when you lift the whisk out the cream will create peaks that fold over themselves slightly).
It’s important to keep the air in the cream you have just whipped so fold the cream into the strawberry mixture gently. Once everything is combined, you can go ahead and add in the crushed meringue, saving some for the top.
For the meringue, you can buy meringue nests from most supermarkets or try making your own. Follow my pavlova recipe which will show you how to make meringue at home. It’s really easy to make meringue and a good way to use up leftover egg whites that you may have from other recipes. I tend to freeze my egg whites for another day, for recipes such as this. You can also freeze the leftover egg yolks too. So don’t throw them away.
When not using an ice cream machine, your ice cream will need to be frozen for at least 12 hours. You don’t need to worry about taking it out of the freezer to churn every few hours with this recipe. It will remain creamy and frozen through without the need to churn.
To scoop your ice cream, I recommend dipping your ice cream scoop or spoon in hot water to warm up first. This helps it glide through your frozen ice cream without the need to leave the ice cream on the side to soften first. It helps to prevent everything from melting too much. If your ice cream melts too much and is then refrozen, you have a chance of ice crystals forming, which will ruin it’s creamy texture.
Unless you eat it all beforehand, which I am sure you will. Your ice cream will last for up to 2 weeks for the best taste and results. The reason homemade ice cream doesn’t last as long as shop bought, since it doesn’t contain any preservatives.
I haven’t tried, since it wouldn’t truly be an Eton mess ice cream without the strawberries. But fruit with a similar texture should be roasted in the same way if you want to give it a go.
Eton Mess Ice Cream Without a Machine
- 400 g Strawberries
- 2 tbsp Caster Sugar
- 200 ml Double Cream
- 110 g Condensed Milk
- 4 Meringue Nests
Roasting the Strawberries
- Wash and hull your fruit and slice them in half.
- Lay them out on a lined baking tray without overlapping and sprinkle them with the sugar.
- Place them in the oven at 150C for approximately an hour. Turning them over once halfway through the cooking time.
- Keep an eye on your strawberries towards the end of the roasting time to ensure they aren't caramelising too much and sticking to the tray.
- Once the strawberries have roasted, place them in a blend and blend until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
For the Ice Cream
- Add the condensed milk to the strawberry mixture and whip together until creamy.
- In a separate bowl, whip your cream until it forms medium stiff peaks.
- Break up the meringue nests using a rolling pin until you have small pieces.
- Gently fold the strawberry mixture into the cream along with three quarters of the crushed meringue.
- Place your mixed ice cream into a freezer proof container and sprinkle the rest of the meringue on top.
- Close the container with a lid and leave in the freezer for at least 12 hours before serving.
Recipe Notes and Guidance
- Roasting the strawberries first helps to prevent ice crystals forming in the ice cream – it’s a very important step.
- Feel free to add more meringue to suit your tastes.
- Use a warmed ice cream scoop to serve your ice cream.
- Don’t allow your ice cream mixture to melt and be refrozen too much as this increases the chances of ice crystals forming.
- For the best taste, eat the ice cream within 2 weeks of making it.