It was 3rd of July and I invited my girlfriends over for a simple get-together before we part for the rest of the summer. Everyone leaves town for summer holiday at different time, so there’s a chance we won’t be meeting again till early autumn.
Accidently, it was also the eve of the Fourth of July but this is a holiday we’re not celebrating although we just could have raised our glasses for the American people.
Also, it’s Wimbledon time. Since forever I’ve associated Wimbledon not only with tennis but also with strawberries and cream, as does everybody else because it’s a kind of official snack of the tournament. The Brits love their strawberries and apparently the juicy red berries are their best over the Channel this time of the year.
Another famous British dessert is called Eton Mess and – you’ve guessed it – it involves strawberries and cream. It’s a great dessert though and since it’s simple to prepare, doesn’t take much time and involves no cooking/baking, which unfortunately elevates the heat, I decided to twist it a little and make it for my friends the other night.
You will need (for 4 servings): Whipping cream (I used 250 ml) Greek yogurt (I used 250 ml) Meringues (say 4 large ones or 10 small) 3-4 tbs pistachios Fruit: berries are best but other fruit if chopped can be used or even preserved one (I used about 5 tablespoons of preserved cranberries and 2 dcl of fresh blueberries plus half of a peach to decorate) - regarding the quantities of the fruit, you can go for only a few teaspoons or half the glass - whichever appeals to you more. Preparation: Crush the meringues in a small bowl using whatever is at hand - a fork or a spoon will do. Grind the pistachios if you have them whole. Whip the cream - do not make it too compact, let it be on the soft side. With a spoon mix the yogurt vigorously, then fold it into whipped cream. (You can leave it be at this point to assemble just before serving but do refrigerate cream’n’yogurt mixture.) To assemble: Crush two spoonfuls of fruit to produce some juice and incorporate into cream/yogurt mixture to give it a marbling effect (or use two tablespoons of softened jam like I did). Add several spoonfuls of crushed meringues to the mix and incorporate by folding gently (you don’t want to flatten the cream too much). Into four glasses add a couple of spoonfuls of fruit (preserved, fresh or combination of both), follow with the cream mixture, top with remaining crushed meringues and pistachios (and some fruit if you like). Decorate (I used slices of a peach but let your imagination run wild: mint leaves would be nice IMO, or caramelized lemon slices if you had the time to do it beforehand). That’s it, serve and enjoy.
Another great variation of the theme by David Lebovitz