Editor’s note: Sadie Davis-Suskind, 14, is an eighth grader at Jane Addams Middle School and an aspiring chef. A former “MasterChef Junior” competitor, Davis-Suskind will share each week a recipe that other kids can make as well.
Hey, readers! I hope you’re all staying healthy and happy out there during your unexpected break.
I have been enjoying walks with my family through Magnuson Park and along the Burke-Gilman Trail, working on art projects, cleaning out my bedroom and FaceTiming like crazy with my friends and family.
I know this all seems like it’s too much for us to manage sometimes, and it is a lot! On the bright side, we’ve also been given the gift of time to reconnect with friends, our families and pets!
And cooking, did I mention cooking?! As always, I would love to hear your questions and ideas for future dishes, so come chat with me on Instagram (@juniorchefsadie)!
So here we are at Week 2 and I don’t know about you all, but I have been craving something super sweet!
My grandmother Sally grew up in Belfast, Ireland, and was an amazing cook. When I was very little, she taught me how to bake meringues because they’re so simple and they make up one of our favorite dessert recipes: the Eton Mess.
It’s a traditional English dessert made up of strawberries, pieces of crispy meringue and cream. It’s called Eton Mess because, since the early 19th century, it has been served at Eton College’s annual cricket game against the pupils of Harrow School (all very fancy English schools!).
It’s called a mess because you randomly place the ingredients into a glass. It may look messy, but it sure tastes delicious!
4 large egg whites
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
¾ pound strawberries
½ cup heavy cream (chilled in the fridge)
Mint leaves for garnish
Pinch of salt
Optional: vanilla extract and more sugar
Let’s go step by step:
1. Start by preheating your oven to 225 degrees.
2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Separate the whites of the eggs from the yolks and put aside the yolks (for tomorrow’s breakfast!).
4. Beat the egg whites with an added pinch of salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer (otherwise your hand will get VERY TIRED!) until they have soft peaks.
5. Slowly add in one cup of sugar and beat until your meringue has stiff, glossy and shiny peaks.
6. Take a spoon and gently drop the meringue into 4 little mounds on the parchment paper.
7. Spread each meringue pile into a 3 ½-inch round, then smooth out the top with your spoon.
8. Bake the meringues in the middle of your oven until they are crispy and firm, usually about 1 ½ hours. Cool the meringues on a baking sheet or on a rack and carefully peel them off the paper once you’re ready to assemble your Eton Mess.
Assembly (the really fun part):
1. Cut off the top of the strawberries and put them into a bowl. Mash them up, or leave whole. Add some sugar and let them sit for 5 minutes to marinate.
2. Beat the heavy cream in a chilled bowl until it just holds soft peaks (you can add sugar and/or a bit of vanilla extract, according to your tastes).
3. Break up some of the meringue cookies into the bottom of a glass, add some cream and berries, repeat until your glass is at least three-quarters full. The best thing about a Mess is you can do this any way you want.
4. Feel free to drizzle some of the juice left over from the strawberries on top, garnish with mint and ENJOY!