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Gooseberry Eton mess recipe

Diana Henry / 18 May 2015

Diana Henry shares her recipe for her extremely easy Eton mess made with fresh gooseberries.

Gooseberry Eton mess
Gooseberry Eton mess

Cooking time

5-7 minutes

Chilling time

45 minutes


2 generously


  • 225g gooseberries
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 100ml whipping cream
  • 50g Greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh mint
  • 50g meringues

For garnish:

  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Icing sugar


This Eton mess is incredibly simple, especially if you have some bought meringues stashed away. Mix the meringues in just before serving, otherwise they break down and become mushy and wet. You want the gooseberries and meringue to contrast in texture as well as flavour.

Put the sugar into a saucepan with about 50ml water. Gently heat the mixture until the sugar melts, then turn the heat down, add the gooseberries and poach them until they are just tender - about 5-7 minutes.

It’s important that you don’t let the gooseberries completely collapse and lose their shape. Carefully drain the gooseberries of their cooking juices and let them cool. Reduce the juices by boiling until they are syrupy. Let this cool too.

Whip the cream then add the yoghurt, lemon juice, and mint. Gently stir in the cooled gooseberries, then add a few tablespoons of the syrup - you need to add it to taste, but you mustn’t make the mixture too runny. It should be the consistency of a fool, not a soup. Refrigerate until about 45 minutes before serving. You don’t want to mix the meringues in when the mixture is too firm.

Roughly smash up the meringues and gently fold them into the cream mixture. Pile into glasses and garnish with mint leaves and a little sifted icing sugar.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.