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Eton mess, a dessert of crushed baked meringue, whipped cream, and berries, is said to have originated at England’s Eton College. We use store-bought meringue cookies to make this version. Then, we layer them with whipped cream with cherries and chopped chocolate. Frozen cherries make it easy to put together. We chop the fruit then microwave the pieces with sugar, sherry vinegar, and chopped chocolate.
1. Mix the cherries, sugar, and vinegar in a small bowl that is microwave-safe. Microwave for 5 minutes, then strain the mixture and let cool completely.
2. Place the rack 4 inches from the broiler. Spread the meringues on a broiler-safe rimmed baking sheet and broil until browned, 30 to 60 seconds.
3. Mix the cream in a medium bowl until it reaches soft peaks. Mix in the reserved cherry liquid, two-thirds of chocolate, and beat to stiff peaks.
4. In a bowl, combine half the meringues with half the cherries. Then top with the whipped cream and then the remaining cherries, meringues, and chocolate.
(c) 2020 by Christopher Kimball. Excerpted from Milk Street: Cookish by permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY.
Images (c) Connie Miller.