Worth Repeating: Strawberry Shortcake Day

Strawberry season is finally here! In fact, the entire month of June is considered to be “strawberry month” and “National Strawberry Shortcake Day” is celebrated June 14. According to Driscoll’s, a California company celebrating over 100 years of growing berries, “The first printed shortcake recipe appeared in an English cookbook in 1588. In the 1850s, Americans added strawberries to traditional shortcakes and celebrated the start of summer with ‘strawberry shortcake parties.’ Influenced by French chefs, whipped cream became a key ingredient in strawberry shortcake around 1910, and in the 1950s, homemakers turned to Bisquick to make easy drop-style shortcakes.” With local farm stands and markets now brimming with the luscious, versatile, and delicious berry, some “variations on a theme” you might enjoy include Eton Mess, an easy-to-assemble dessert with a rather inelegant name. The dessert is said to have originated at Eton College during its annual cricket game against the students of Harrow School. It was first made with strawberries mixed together with whipped cream (you can add other berries, if you wish); the broken pieces of meringue were a later addition. Store-bought meringue cookies make for quick assembly. (Photo, Monkeybusiness | Dreamstime.com)

ETON MESS

SERVES 8 TO 10

2 cups strawberries, hulled, quartered, and chopped

1 cup mixed berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 cups cold heavy (whipping) cream

8 to 10 bakery meringue cookies, broken into pieces

Steps

  1. In a large bowl, gently toss the strawberries and berries, if using, with the sugar and lemon juice. Let stand for about 1 hour.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the meringue pieces into the cream and then stir in three quarters of the fruit.
  3. Divide the mixture into wine or martini glasses and spoon the remaining fruit on top. 

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Tags: cooking, desserts, irish cuisine, menus, recipes

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