Chefs' Recipes

April Bloomfield's Eton mess

And there's vodka-soaked strawberries, too.

By April Bloomfield
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking plus cooling, chilling
  • Serves 6
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Eton mess
*"Yum, yum, yum. The vodka is the key here. It brings out an extra little something in the strawberries," says the legendary April Bloomfield of New York City's The Breslin restaurant.


  • 500 gm strawberries (about 2 punnets), stems removed, halved or quartered
  • Scraped seeds of ¼ vanilla bean
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 40 ml vodka
  • 1½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 500 ml thickened cream (2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 250 gm eggwhites
  • 450 gm caster sugar
  • 40 gm pure icing sugar (¼ cup)
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon


  • 1
    For meringues, preheat oven to 120C. Whisk eggwhite and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until sugar dissolves (5-7 minutes), then transfer to an electric mixer and whisk on medium speed until firm peaks form. Fold in icing sugar and lemon rind, then spoon into grapefruit-sized mounds on baking trays lined with baking paper. Bake until hard on the outside and soft on the inside (30-40 minutes), then cool.
  • 2
    Purée half the strawberries in a blender, add vanilla seeds, lemon rind and juice, vodka and caster sugar. Transfer to a bowl, then add remaining strawberries and refrigerate until chilled (1-2 hours).
  • 3
    Whisk cream and white sugar in a bowl until soft peaks form (4-5 minutes; do not overbeat). Add half the strawberry mixture, crumble over large chunks of meringue, then fold once or twice to just combine. Serve immediately topped with extra strawberry mixture.


This recipe is from the June 2010 issue of .
Drink Suggestion: Lashings of ginger beer. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • undefined: April Bloomfield