I try not to get too involved in the whole Christmas baking thing, it’s all a bit twee isn’t it? Well, the choice is out of my hands this year as I don’t have access to an oven anyway, however I have found myself strangely drawn to creating different variations on the classic eton mess. Now, I’ve always loved all those rich flavours and spices so inherrant in Christmas desserts but sometimes find the traditional versions terribly stodgy, and have never gone much in for mince pies due to my lack of enthusiasm for pastry. So, having a bit of a brain wave the other day I thunk up a kind Christmas mess; the perfect, easy (lazy), no cook pudding, and it slips down a treat even when you think you’ve got no room left.
Feel free to make your own meringues and mincemeat but that kind of defeats the object here, this is an assembly job for when you really just can’t be arsed. I fully intended to tart mine up a bit with a few added ingredients but couldn’t even be bothered to do that in the end and just added some sloe gin that was lurking in my kitchen to the mincemeat. It really doesn’t matter, it may not look much but tastes great!
My initial thoughts were to pimp the dessert, adding cherries, toasted almonds and maraschino to the mincemeat or perhaps stem ginger, dried figs and walnuts or hazelnuts with a glug of ginger wine. I’ve done rasberries macerated in Chombard and a little sugar in the past and the idea of a caramelised banana, coconut and rum version also appeals….Feel free to keep it simple though and just smash in some Christmas pudding, cake, or even mince pies, with your choice of booze. This is the perfect dish if you’re restrained enough to have leftovers…..
Recipe for 2:
4 small meringue nests
200ml double cream
half a jar mincemeat
Mix half a jar of mincemeat with a generous few glugs of booze. Crumble meringues into a large bowl. Whip the cream till it starts to thicken, add to the bowl. Combine all the elements and serve.