On the Boat: Eton Mess was a Success!

eton mess

I finally made the Eton Mess recipe altered from the cooking class I took at the Pantry at Delancey last month. I made the lemon curd a few days ago with fresh lemons I picked up on the last excursion to Refuge Cove. As I mentioned in a previous post I didn’t have a fine mesh strainer on board, so I was looking for an alternative to strain out the lemon zest and eggy bits to have a fine, smooth and silky curd.  I ended up using a plastic colander, and then placing a piece of plastic mesh netting inside. I think the mesh netting was originally from a sack of onions or potatoes perhaps. In any case, it worked pretty well. Not as perfect (or gourmet?) of course as a mesh strainer would have been, but did the job well enough to strain most of the pieces of lemon zest and funky egg bits.

Blackberries aren’t exactly easy to come by up here, so I used fresh blueberries for the sauce instead. I was nervous the meringue pieces would get sticky or moist or less crispy, but they actually were even better after a day in an airtight container on the counter. The pieces were dry and snappy and tasty.

meringue sheet

I whipped the cold cream nice and slow and it came out whipped and silky. That’s something new I learned at the cooking class as well. I always thought the way to whip cream was to use a hand mixer, crank it to high and whip the crap out of it as quickly as possible. At the Pantry, I learned it’s better to go slow – a low to medium speed and take your time, and don’t over whip! Turned out lovely.

In a large bowl (actually a salad bowl – because again, gotta use what we have here on the boat) I made a stripe each of the lemon curd, meringue bits, (gently) whipped cream, and blueberry sauce. Then gently and gingerly gave it all about four sweeping stirs. The point it to have it look like tie-dye with streaks of lemon curd, sauce, cream, not to mix it all together into a homogenous purple haze. I had to resist the urge to keep stirring. Step away from the bowl Robyn, step away.

Served a nice scoop on plates – everyone loved it, and took seconds. Good thing too because this is definitely not a dessert that would hold over well for leftovers or to put together ahead of time. It did work great however, to make the lemon curd, sauce, and meringue pieces ahead.

[I put the whole recipe in its entirety below, and then the individual components on printable cards – hence the loooong post]

 

Blueberry Eton Mess with Lemon Curd

(adapted from Blackberry Eaton Mess with Lemon Curd from Brandi Henderson at the Pantry at Delancey)

Serves 6

 

2 cups meringue pieces (bite size)
½ – ¾ cup lemon curd
1½ cups heavy cream, gently whipped
1 – 1½ cups blueberry sauce

In large bowl, make a stripe of each component. Gently stir together only three or four times, just enough to barely mix together but not to combine thoroughly. You are going for tie-dye – with streaks of each ingredient, not a homogeneous mix.

 

For the components:

Meringue Pieces

¼ vanilla bean
4 ¾ ounces superfine sugar
2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
3 ounces egg whites, room temperature
pinch kosher salt
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 200˚ (175˚ convection), or if your oven goes lower, even better (but it will take longer). Line a large (18’ x 26’) baking sheet with parchment paper.

Scrape the vanilla bean seeds from the vanilla bean. In a small bowl, rub the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar and stir in the cornstarch. Sift to remove clumps.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and salt – starting on low, increase the speed incrementally to medium speed until the egg whites turn opaque and white.

Increase speed to medium-high and slowly and gradually sprinkle in the sugar-cornstarch mixture. After a few minutes, add in the vinegar. Increase the speed to high and whip until the meringue is glossy and stiff, about 5 minutes.

Spoon the meringue onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and spread out to be ¼” thick.

Place the backing sheet in preheated oven. Bake for 2-3 hours, or until the meringue is completely dried out. Low and slow is best. Check on the meringue at least once during the baking time. If it appears to be taking on color or cracking, reduce the temperature by 25˚ and rotate the pan.

Once baked, cool the meringue on the baking sheet. When cooled, break the meringue into bite-sized pieces. The meringues will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to a week.

 

**my boating modifications for meringue**

I took regular granulated sugar and ground it in the blender to help make it more fine. Since I don’t have a scale on the boat I used the rule of 2 oz = ¼ cup. For the sugar I used ½ cup + 1/8 cup (after I had ground it in the blender). For the eggs, I jused 3 egg whites, though I’m sure that ends up to be a bit more than 3 ounces. 

 I couldn’t find vanilla bean up here so I added 1 tsp of vanilla extract in with the vinegar, and I didn’t have white whine vinegar so I used champagne vinegar instead. Our boat oven doesn’t fit a large sheet pan, so I used two 14’ pizza pans lined with parchment. I heated the oven to 150˚ convection and it took about 3 hours to dry out the meringue. At the end it was crispy and broke like a cracker, but was still completely white (which is what you want)– no golden color or browning at all. It didn’t take long to cool, but as I was breaking it up to put into a storage container, the top was slightly sticky and tacky. After a day in a container on the counter, the pieces did not have any tackiness to them, and were still crispy and dry. Perfect.

 

Tart Lemon Curd   

¾ cup lemon juice
¼ cup lemon zest
2 large eggs
7 large egg yolks
8 ounces sugar
Pinch kosher salt
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, yolks, sugar and salt in a medium metal or glass bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of summering water, whisk constantly and cook until the custard is thick. 180˚ if you are using a thermometer.

Remove the custard from the heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer. Let the mixture cool to 140˚, stirring from time to time to prevent a skin from forming.

Whisk in the butter. Chill Completely before serving. Will last 10-14 days in the fridge.

**my boating modifications for Lemon Curd**

Again, no scale – so I used 1 cup of sugar to approximate 8 ounces. I didn’t have a fine mesh strainer so I used a plastic colander lined with a plastic mesh bag. Good enough.

 

Blueberry Sauce

2 cups fresh blueberries
½ tablespoon sugar
pinch kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice

 In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the blueberries, sugar, and salt until the berries release their juice and begin to break down and burst, about 5 minutes. Pour into a separate bowl to cool. Add in lemon juice.

**my boating modifications**

The above recipe with blueberries is what I made on the boat. The original recipe calls for cooking 1 cup blackberries in the same way described above for 2-3 minutes, then add the cooked blackberries to 1 cup of uncooked blackberries and add the lemon juice and stir.

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Eton Mess
Serves 6
A tasty and impressive dessert of lemon curd, berry sauce, whipped cream and meringue pieces.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups meringue pieces (bite size)
  2. ½ - ¾ cup lemon curd
  3. 1½ cups heavy cream, gently whipped
  4. 1 – 1½ cups blueberry sauce
Instructions
  1. In large bowl, make a stripe of each component - meringue pieces, lemon curd, whipped cream, and blueberry sauce. Gently stir together only three or four times, just enough to barely mix together but not to combine thoroughly. You are going for tie-dye – with streaks of each ingredient, not a homogeneous mix.
Adapted from The Pantry at Delancey - Brandi Henderson
Adapted from The Pantry at Delancey - Brandi Henderson
Find Me in the Kitchen http://findmeinthekitchen.com/
Meringue Pieces
Meringue pieces to go with Eton Mess dessert.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. ¼ vanilla bean
  2. 4 ¾ ounces superfine sugar
  3. 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  4. 3 ounces egg whites, room temperature
  5. pinch kosher salt
  6. 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 200˚ (175˚ convection), or if your oven goes lower, even better (but it will take longer). Line a large (18" x 26") baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds from the vanilla bean. In a small bowl, rub the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar and stir in the cornstarch. Sift to remove clumps.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and salt – starting on low, increase the speed incrementally to medium speed until the egg whites turn opaque and white.
  4. Increase speed to medium-high and slowly and gradually sprinkle in the sugar-cornstarch mixture. After a few minutes, add in the vinegar. Increase the speed to high and whip until the meringue is glossy and stiff, about 5 minutes.
  5. Spoon the meringue onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and spread out to be ¼” thick.
  6. Place the backing sheet in preheated oven. Bake for 2-3 hours, or until the meringue is completely dried out. Low and slow is best. Check on the meringue at least once during the baking time. If it appears to be taking on color or cracking, reduce the temperature by 25˚ and rotate the pan.
  7. Once baked, cool the meringue on the baking sheet. When cooled, break the meringue into bite-sized pieces. The meringues will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to a week.
Notes
  1. **my boating modifications for meringue**
  2. I took regular granulated sugar and ground it in the blender to help make it more fine. Since I don’t have a scale on the boat I used the rule of 2 oz = ¼ cup. For the sugar I used ½ cup + 1/8 cup (after I had ground it in the blender). For the eggs, I used 3 egg whites, though I’m sure that ends up to be a bit more than 3 ounces.
  3. I couldn’t find vanilla bean up here so I added 1 tsp of vanilla extract in with the vinegar, and I didn’t have white whine vinegar so I used champagne vinegar instead. Our boat oven doesn’t fit a large sheet pan, so I used two 14’ pizza pans lined with parchment. I heated the oven to 150˚ convection and it took about 3 hours to dry out the meringue. At the end it was crispy and broke like a cracker, but was still completely white (which is what you want)– no golden color or browning at all. It didn’t take long to cool, but as I was breaking it up to put into a storage container, the top was slightly sticky and tacky. After a day in a container on the counter, the pieces did not have any tackiness to them, and were still crispy and dry. Perfect.
Adapted from The Pantry at Delancey - Brandi Henderson
Adapted from The Pantry at Delancey - Brandi Henderson
Find Me in the Kitchen http://findmeinthekitchen.com/
Tart Lemon Curd
tart and tasty lemon curd.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. ¾ cup lemon juice
  2. ¼ cup lemon zest
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 7 large egg yolks
  5. 8 ounces sugar
  6. Pinch kosher salt
  7. 2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
Instructions
  1. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, yolks, sugar and salt in a medium metal or glass bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of summering water, whisk constantly and cook until the custard is thick. 180˚ if you are using a thermometer.
  2. Remove the custard from the heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer. Let the mixture cool to 140˚, stirring from time to time to prevent a skin from forming.
  3. Whisk in the butter. Chill Completely before serving. Will last 10-14 days in the fridge.
Notes
  1. **my boating modifications for Lemon Curd**
  2. Again, no scale – so I used 1 cup of sugar to approximate 8 ounces. I didn’t have a fine mesh strainer so I used a plastic colander lined with a plastic mesh bag. Good enough.
Adapted from The Pantry at Delancey - Brandi Henderson
Adapted from The Pantry at Delancey - Brandi Henderson
Find Me in the Kitchen http://findmeinthekitchen.com/
 

Blueberry Sauce
a great all purpose berry recipe. Can be used with any kind of berry.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups fresh blueberries
  2. ½ tablespoon sugar
  3. pinch kosher salt
  4. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the blueberries, sugar, and salt until the berries release their juice and begin to break down and burst, about 5 minutes. Pour into a separate bowl to cool. Add in lemon juice.
Notes
  1. **my boating modifications**
  2. The above recipe with blueberries is what I made on the boat. The original recipe calls for cooking 1 cup blackberries in the same way described above for 2-3 minutes, then add the cooked blackberries to 1 cup of uncooked blackberries and add the lemon juice and stir.
Adapted from The Pantry at Delancey - Brandi Henderson
Adapted from The Pantry at Delancey - Brandi Henderson
Find Me in the Kitchen http://findmeinthekitchen.com/
 

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