Yesterday we went to Eton to watch Alfred's first cricket match of the season: Marlborough vs Eton. Lucius, an old Etonian, feels a little peculiar cheering on Marlborough on Agar's Plough, but he managed well enough. Those of you who think that cricket is a boring game should know that the result of this match was always in doubt, and that it was settled on the last ball, when Eton won by one run. Nailbiting stuff, and very exciting to watch. Alfred was out for a duck (luckily I failed to spot this, because, at the crucial moment, we were accosted by some old friends we hadn't seen for a year!), but he then had the satisfaction of bowling well and taking three wickets (which I did see).
So pudding for lunch today is Eton mess. I've never actually heard of this being served up to boys (or even masters, come to that), but this is a traditional English summer pudding, quite delicious. It's a sort of strawberry fool with attitude, because the crushed meringue gives it a crunch - but only if you make it at the last minute, otherwise you get a sugary goo, quite nice in its own way, but not really worth writing about.
My version is lighter than the usual, made with 0% Greek yoghurt rather than whipped cream. It's too early for the seasonal cook to be making this properly, because English strawberries are still at least six weeks away. Today's version is a winter version, using up the last of last summer's strawberry jam. The danger with the jam method is that it gets too sweet, so I counteract that with a little lemon juice.
You need equal quantities (by eye) of meringue, Greek yoghurt, and strawberries (or strawberry jam). Allow one meringue per person (and this is the only recipe I can think of where bought meringues are okay - their pasty texture isn't a problem here). Crush the strawberries with a fork, and mix them into the yoghurt. If you are using jam, squeeze a little lemon juice on it first (lots if the jam is set hard). Lightly crush the meringues into the mix shortly before serving in a glass dish. Good for summer parties.
The Heart of the Matter deadline is today - send your delicious pudding/dessert recipes to joannacary AT ukonline DOT co DOT uk, with the permalink for the round-up next week, which you'll find here, and also at the Heart of the Matter website. I don't suppose I'll do the round-up until tomorrow evening, so the deadline can be slightly fluid if you need a little more time! There are already lots of delicious ideas ...
This Thing of Paper - Illustration by Karie Westermann Karie Westermann (designer of the Vedbaek shawl*, among many other lovely things) has just this morning launched a Kickstart...
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