Dessert – Algarve Mess – An Eton Mess Variation
The well-known Eton Mess dessert of strawberries, meringue and whipped cream was always a favourite of ours back in England and a great way of using up a glut of strawberries.
We seem to be reaching the tail-end of the seasonal strawberries here in Portugal now and for the first time we have spotted some delicious local raspberries, so these two factors combined to mean it was time to make a local Portuguese variation of this pudding.
I recently purchased a few more of the BBC Good Food “101” Series of recipe books (see links below.) I am a big fan of these books which often end up being amongst my most used cook books. In one of the new books, there was a similar looking dessert using crumbled shortcake biscuits to add the crunch instead of meringue. The “Algarve Mess” was born.
2 large handfuls of berries (we used strawberries and raspberries)
A 250g tub of crème fraiche
2 x mini strawberry fromage frais (we used a local variation of Petit Filous)
Zest of one lemon
Half a packet of shortcake biscuits
Mix the lemon zest, fromage frais and crème fraiche. If you do this gently you can create a pretty swirl effect.
Cut the larger berries into bite size pieces. Break up the biscuits into chunky pieces. Stir the fruit and shortcake into the creamy mix just before serving.
I have published an article over at Suite 101 that includes the classic Eton mess recipe and other variations – click to visit it!