Every week, our test kitchen team pays an early morning visit to New York City’s biggest farmers market: the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan. Comprised of over 70 stalls bursting with flowers, local products, and beautiful seasonal produce, it’s the perfect place for a hit of mid-week inspiration. Follow us on Instagram to tag along (bring a tote bag, it’s impossible to leave empty handed!) and see what we decide to make with our market haul.
Raspberries, blackberries, huckleberries, gooseberries — the berry stand was undeniable this week at the market, and immediately put us in the mood for something sweet. Ultimately the plump moody blueberries won us over (can you blame us?), so we headed back to the test kitchen with an armful and big dessert dreams.
A traditional English treat served in school cafeterias, Eton mess is as simple as it is summery, made from layers of seasonal fruit, whipped cream, and store-bought meringues. Our bluebs made for the perfect stand-in for the traditional strawberries, and a bit of mint on top kept the whole thing light and fresh.
Blueberry Eton Mess
3 cups blueberries
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar, divided
3 oz store-bought meringues (our local grocery had pastel-colored meringues, but white is just as good!)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of kosher salt
a few sprigs mint
1. Make the compote:
In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, lemon juice and zest, 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt. Heat over medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally and pressing down with the back of a wooden spoon, about 20 minutes, or until the blueberries are softened and just slightly syrupy. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Make the whipped cream:
With an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a whisk and some elbow grease), whip the heavy cream, vanilla, and remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar until stiff peaks form,
3. Crush the meringues:
Place the meringues in a zip-top bag. With the back of a measuring cup, crush into small pieces (variety is good here! some can stay in chunks, some can be smashed almost to a fine powder).
4. Layer & serve your dish:
Fill small glasses with the whipped cream, crushed meringues, and cooled berries and syrup. Top with the mint, tearing just before adding. Refrigerate the glasses for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!