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Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Eton Mess

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura might be literally 8 months pregnant… but that hasn’t stopped her from coming up with another fabulous recipe for us, just before the year is out!

Hazelnutty and creamy with sweet juicy peaches, this Eton Mess recipe is the perfect solution if you’re on Christmas dessert for the whole family (…or by yourself!) and will surely have people coming back for seconds… and thirds!

17th December, 2019

Julia Busuttil Nishimura at home with her Eton Mess. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Fresh, juicy peaches. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

The peach purée ready to be stirred through. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Crushing up the meringue. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Folding peach purée through whipped cream. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Fresh raspberries to finish this thoroughly delicious Eton Mess. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura
Tuesday 17th December 2019

‘Feel free to experiment with different stone fruit – nectarines and apricots would be lovely.’ – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.

Summer has arrived and it’s time to eat all the berries and stone fruit! One of my favourite ways to use summer fruits is in this simple and utterly pretty dessert. With Christmas around the corner too, this Eton Mess is absolutely perfect.

Said to have originated Eton College in England in the late 1800s, an Eton Mess, in its simplest form, consists of strawberries, whipped cream and meringues. I do love it with strawberries, but here I’ve swapped them out for peaches and raspberries, one of my most loved fruit combinations. Feel free to experiment with different stone fruit – nectarines and apricots would be lovely. Some crème fraîche, or even a little plain yoghurt folded into the whipped cream is a nice twist on the original too.

Besides it being super delicious, it can also be prepared well in advance which is especially handy if you are having friends around and don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen. Just whip the cream and fold through the peach just before serving. If you don’t want to make the meringues for yourself, store-bought ones are a great short cut. With that being said, homemade meringues are decidedly chewier and just that much nicer. They’re not at all difficult to make, it will just require a little forethought as it will need time to cool completely before using. I’ve served this Eton Mess in individual bowls, but in a large serving bowl would be lovely too.

Christmas dessert sorted! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Beautiful Julia at home! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

JULIA’S PEACH + RASPBERRY ETON MESS (serves 6)

Hazlenut meringues
2 egg whites
Sea salt
120g caster sugar
50g roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve

Stewed peaches
5 yellow peaches
2 cardamom pods, bruised
2 tbsp caster sugar
Juice of half a lemon

400ml pure cream, whipped to soft peaks
250g raspberries, to serve

Method

Preheat oven to 140 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.

Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until mixture is stiff and glossy and all sugar has dissolved. Gently fold through in the hazelnuts. Pile the meringue on to the baking sheet and spread into a rectangle, around 1cm thick. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the meringue is crisp to touch but still soft on the inside. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar, and allow to cool completely in the oven. Break the meringue into large pieces and set aside.

For the peaches, make a small cross at the base of each peach with a sharp knife and place in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and leave to sit for 3 minutes. Remove from the water and when cool enough to touch, peel the skin and discard. Roughly chop the peach flesh into large pieces, discarding the stones, and place in a small saucepan along with the cardamom pods, sugar and lemon juice. Cook on a low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until soft. Cool completely and discard the cardamom pods.

Puree half of the peach mixture in a small food processor or with a stick blender until smooth and fold through the whipped cream.

To assemble, dollop some of the peach cream into individual serving bowls, followed by some meringue, a spoonful of the stewed peaches and a few raspberries. Top with more peach cream, peaches and raspberries and finish off with a scattering of roasted hazelnuts.

What else I’m cooking with…

New season garlic, all the berries and cherries (not so much cooking with but definitely eating) and beautiful peppers – stewed, grilled, roasted!

What I’m eating…

All the snacks at Carlton Wine Room. Particularly the house-made focaccia with stracciatella! So good!

You can follow Julia’s food adventures on Instagram and find more fab recipes via her website

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