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
  • Print
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.


Drink Suggestion: Lashings of ginger beer. Drink suggestion by Max Allen