strawberry-picking

(Littlelish has discovered theatrical poses for her photos – I blame her aunty G!)

   One of the things I love about summer is fruit picking. There is something so special about picking fresh fruit right from the bush, the hunt to find the perfect red shiny strawberry or that cluster of ripe juicy raspberries hiding in the bushes. Everyone knows the taste of a freshly picked fruit is so intense, so delicious and supermarket bought fruit just doesn’t compare. I will never forget eating mangos shaken from the tree in Brazil but equally I won’t forget the sweet taste of  plump juicy strawberries from our local fruit farm. Yum!

Last week we went to collect some raspberries and strawberries. It was one of the last days of our holiday together and we thought it would be a fun activity to do while the sun was shining. Littlelish thoroughly enjoys joining in and gets great pleasure in the search for fruity treasure and sampling the yummy pickings! We picked 2 large baskets full (ok we got a little carried away) played in the sunshine a while and then headed home to make some Eton Mess.

Eton Mess is one of those simple delicious desserts that is perfect for summer. And believe me when I say there is no finer Eton mess than one made with fresh picked raspberries and strawberries.hand-blender-dunelm

We didn’t really follow a specific recipe, picking up a few tips from various recipes here and there. Firstly we made our own meringue. We used a Delia recipe for this and baked it in the oven for 1 hour. It came out perfectly crunchy on the outside and sticky in the middle. I was pretty chuffed at just how easy this was (having never made meringue!) using my new Spectrum hand blender from Dunelm. It made short work of the egg whites and I’m sure more than contributed to our perfect meringue.

newpiclucy

I was particularly happy with the hand blender because I had one in the past from a well known brand which I’d discarded as I didn’t like it much. It was pretty useless at whipping anything! But this one was great, primarily it was strong and well made and felt very solid in my hands which is what you need with a blender. It has 2 settings, one fast, one turbo fast and various different adapters acting as a blender, chopping as well as whisking. I used it on the fast setting and it had my egg whites in peaked perfection in no time and it didn’t get scolding hot. I used to think my old hand blender was going to combust it got so hot in my hands!

After we made the meringue we went on make some vanilla cream. This was simply whipping cream whipped up with a teaspoon of vanilla. We didn’t add any extra sugar as we thought it was sweet enough. It was then simply a case of breaking up the meringue, and gently folding it all together with the raspberries, strawberries (cut in quarters) and vanilla cream. You have to do it carefully so as not to crush up all the fruit and meringue entirely and end up with mush.photo(2)

We also made a little berry coulis to go with it which was just the berries blended again using my snazzy new red hand blender and added some icing sugar to sweeten it to taste.photo-coulis

As far as desserts go it isn’t the most beautiful but oh my it tastes divine! We served the Eton mess quite simply in a bowl with a little coulis and I can quite honestly say I’ve never tasted such a delicious Eton mess in all my life. Made from fresh fruit, fresh eggs and perhaps just a little bit of naughtiness in the form of cream and sugar :) Naughty but oh so delicious and much enjoyed by all!

A big thank you to Dunelm for my hand blender which was one of the products provided as a review of their fab kitchen range. If you want to see what else I have reviewed check out Part 1 here.

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