Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Eton Mess with Saffron Cream, Raspberries and White Currants - A Taste of Yellow

Saffron Raspberry Eton Mess (0086) by Meeta K. Wolff

Mum used to tell me that when someone leaves our world, their souls touch the sky and they become stars shining bright. At the same time when a shooting star fires across our skies, it carries a precious new soul ready to enter our world. Over the years I hung on to this tale and even today I put my belief in the stars above. 

It’s easy for me to imagine that my grandparents are shining down on me, sprinkling their stardust whenever I need the extra love or an extra shove. On a clear, crisp night, sitting outside on the porch, looking at the black night scattered with thousands of sparkling diamonds, I know there is one for my nani and one for my nana. It gives me strength and takes away some of the remorse of losing someone so close.

There is a new star in the heavens now. A star for Barbara and I bet you if you go out and look for it, it’ll be shining yellow!

Jewels of the Summer (0049) by Meeta K. Wolff Saffron Raspberry Eton Mess (0069) by Meeta K. Wolff

I thought long and hard about how to write this post. I never realized it would be so hard. Truth be told, my thoughts are not only with the loss of Barbara but emotions of losing both my grandparents seems to still sit within me. My thoughts and feelings are jumbled.

Funny thing is when I thought yellow, it helped me find a ray of light out of the mixed dark feelings I was experiencing.

Saffron Raspberry Eton Mess (0078) by Meeta K. Wolff

In her own special way Barbara has found a way to help me find ground even in her absence. I just think yellow:

  • Yellow is the color of sunshine and brightness, stimulating and energizing
  • Yellow is the color of celebrating Spring and the birth of new life
  • Yellow is psychologically the happiest color in the color spectrum
  • Yellow invokes a feeling of fun and optimism as well as stirring up related memories from past summers
  • Yellow symbolizes hope
  • Yellow daffodils, crocus, tulips and sunflowers make me smile when my vases are full
  • Yellow, vibrant fields full of ripe crops such as wheat, corn or rape
  • Yellow is a color which can be used on its own, but blending it with other colors it enriches them
  • Yellow Submarine by the Beatles makes me sing out loud
  • Yellow saffron adding a divine and vibrant color to all that it is infused with
  • Yellow – is a Taste of Yellow, bringing us all together to share our stories and our food
  • Yellow is Barbara’s star

Thank you for being a friend.

Saffron Raspberry Eton Mess Diptych by Meeta K. Wolff

When thinking of what I would make for Barbara I knew up front I would want to treat her to a dessert with saffron. I also wanted to treat her to my experience in food, bringing both the flavors of the east and west together. It’s what I love doing when I am experimenting in the kitchen and love presenting well known dishes with a slight twist to my guests.

The Eton Mess is an exceptional and delightful dessert, bringing ripe and juicy fruit together. It is Britain’s best loved summer dessert, a sublime combination of crumbled crisp meringue, softly whipped vanilla flavored cream and sweetly marinated strawberries.

Saffron Raspberry Eton Mess (0038) by Meeta K. Wolff

In my version I add a generous pinch of saffron, gently coloring the cream a sunny yellow. Adding a slight substance is the quark, which I incorporate into the cream, which highlights with its slightly tangy flavor. Finally, I use a mixture of sweet raspberries and white red currants to round off the dessert.

I think Barbara would have liked this.

Recipe: Saffron Raspberry and White Currant Eton Mess

Printable version of recipe here

 Saffron Raspberry and White Currant Eton Mess by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes(plus cooling, standing)
Serves: 10

Ingredients:

  • 700g Raspberries
  • 110g muscovado sugar
  • 200ml whipping cream, lightly whisked
  • 125g quark
  • 55g icing sugar, sieved
  • good pinch saffron
  • 125g white currants
  • 100g pistachios, chopped

For the meringues
  • 100g egg whites (about 3 eggs)
  • 100g fine sugar
  • 100g icing sugar, sieved
  • 15g cornflour

Method:

  1. To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 120 degrees C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, approx 4 minutes. Gradually add the fine sugar, while whisking continuously, until thick and glossy. This will take a further 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Sieve the icing sugar and cornflour over the egg white mixture, fold to combine, then either spoon small mounds onto the trays or transfer the meringue mixture into a piping bag and pipe about 20-30 meringues.

  3. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until meringues lift easily from trays and are crisp but not colored, then turn off oven and cool completely in oven.

  4. Take about 2 teaspoons of the cream and sprinkle the saffron. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. In the meantime sprinkle the muscovado sugar over the raspberries and very gently toss, making sure the raspberries do not become mushy. Set aside for approx. 20 minutes until the juices begin to seep.

  5. Whisk cream, quark (or crème fraîche), icing sugar and the saffron cream together in a separate large bowl until soft peaks form.

  6. Scatter a quarter of the raspberries in the base of a serving bowl, spread with a quarter of the cream mixture, and coarsely crumble a quarter of the meringue over the top. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients. Alternatively layer in individual dessert glasses. Scatter with the white currents and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and serve immediately.
Notes:
You will find detailed tips and tricks to make the perfect meringues in the meringue 101 (Pavlova recipe).

If you are unable to find quark in your area you can substitute it with crème fraiche or follow my recipe to make your own homemade quark.

The raspberry embodies indulgence and health almost ideally. You will find all you wanted to know about raspberries in my Food Guide.

Saffron is the queen of spices and besides giving a vivid yellow color it provides a sublime flavor to everything it is added to. More about the queen of spice Saffron

Verdict

Saffron Raspberry Eton Mess (0080) by Meeta K. Wolff

This post is dedicated to the memory of Barbara Harris. Barbara hosted the Taste of Yellow event on her blog to coincide with Lance Armstrong’s LIVEstrong day.  She brought the food community together to help raise awareness about cancer. My Saffron Raspberry and White Currant Eton Mess is especially for this month’s Monthly Mingle which is ”A Taste of Yellow, a Tribute to Barbara Harris”  being hosted over at Jeanne’s of Cooksister.

I’ve been reading a few of the submissions already gone in and feel so happy to be a part of such a strong and friendly community. Your posts are touching, thoughtful and heartwarming. I hope you will join us painting the food blogs yellow this summer as a tribute to Barbara. Details of how you can join are here.

More tastes of YELLOW from WFLH:
Red Bell Pepper and Fava Bean Soup (01) by MeetaK Passionfruit Curd_0024-2-framed Apricot and Pistachio Frangipane Tart (0053) by Meeta K. Wolff
Yellow Bell Pepper and Fava Bean Soup Passionfruit Curd Apricot and Pistachio Frangipane Tart


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2012 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

28 comments :

  1. Lovely post Meeta. Even I believe that perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather our loved ones shining down to let us know they are happy, and showing us light when we need.
    Eton mess looks so heavenly. Gorgeous pics as always!

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  2. A wonderful story of the stars I want to believe in too. Love your "yellow thoughts". Working on my own "Taste of yellow" post which is really hard for me but will make me proud of being part of this strong community.
    And moreover I would like to dive into your Eton Mess and taste all the rich flavors.

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  3. Very, very nice photos. Always one of the best in the food blog world. You are very talented (and hard working).
    And the recipes are divine too. Congratulations on the book!

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  4. Your tribute is so beautiful. I'm sure Barbara would have loved this dish and your words.

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  5. Hi Meeta,

    I'm fighting back tears from your beautiful post. This is such a lovely tribute to Barbara. I didn't know her but everyone has spoken so highly of her. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, feelings and the delicious dessert.

    P.S.
    Congrats on your cookbook. It looks beautiful:)

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  6. Gorgeous clciks and delicioghtful dessert! This is a wonderful tribute to Barbara.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  7. Such a beautiful, loving post and recipe :)

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  8. A beautiful tribute with a beautiful recipe Meeta. Yes the stars shines the peace within me when the heart wrings with pain.. I could not think in any other way but to feel the star of my maa shine on me when I need her, and my only aunt's whom I lost to to cancer too very recently. Praying that Barbara's soul and of many others rest in peace - not in pain anymore.

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  9. Like you even I believe the same about stars from childhood. Thats what I was also told by elders. :-)

    As for your recipe, I can just say, its looking exotic!!! :-D

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  10. An elegant treat for a beautiful soul. Such a wonderful tribute.

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  11. Thank you so much for your comments.
    Lovely thought Spandana!
    Sandy - yes yellow thoughts kept me happy!
    Ulrika - thanks so much for your thoughts!
    Brian - wish we could have shared this with her!
    Spicie fodie - thank you. Glad you liked the post. Barabra was an amazing person!
    Rosa - thanks so much!
    Marla - glad you liked it.
    Soma - thank you! It makes it easier for us doesn't it?
    Minnie - thank you!
    Barbara - she truly was a beautiful soul! Thanks!

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  12. A thoughtful, warming post. I'm sure Barbara would have loved it, as well as the dessert.

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  13. sometimes the simplest of dishes anre the most delicious. a fitting tribute me thinks.

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  14. Your words are just exquisite. You sentiments are so heart-felt and your photography shows the depth of beauty mirrored by those words. I'm so sorry for the community's loss and how it is affecting each and everyone who knew Barbara.

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  15. That is a very sweet post and I am sorry for your loss. I am sure Barbara is watching down on you with a smile. Your dessert looks so very delicate but yet sweet and perfect.

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  16. What a heartfelt post Meeta! I am sure Barbara would have loved it. The pictures are awesome as always, you make me drool!

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  17. What a lovely heart-felt and thoughtful post. Your friend Barbara is twinkling brightly in the heavens this evening.

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  18. A very heart-warming post, with delicious recipe. Great accompaniment :)

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  19. Meeta, let me say that this is a beautiful dedication to Barbara. I am happy to have contributed to this event for a wonderful, courageous person. Thanks again!

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  20. Thank you so much for your comments.

    Bee - Thanks!
    Unknown - I think so too. Wish I got the opportunity to make it for her.
    Andrew - you rock. thanks!
    Sarah - you are a gem. thank you!
    A Brown Table - thanks!
    Dima - thank you lovely Dima
    Christine - I think she is. Thanks!
    Kiran - thanks
    Peter - your post for her made me cry. You were lucky to meet her so I try to imagine what she would be like in person through your eyes.

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  21. Oh Meeta, what a wonderful post and tribute for Barbara. What wonderful thoughts on losing someone, as hard as it is. And the perfect treat for her, the mix of East and West, the sweet, the soft, the exotic, the tangy. She had all of these qualities. And the Eton Mess is amazing - gorgeous to look at (perfect pictures!) and I would love to taste it.

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  22. Heaven in a few simple bites
    saadepunjab.com

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  23. This is a beautiful post - a lovely way to celebrate the life of a friend. It is never an easy prospect to contemplate loss and yet we face it everyday. Sometimes all we can do is savor a sweet spoonful of something. I find those little sweet tastes help remind me of all the sweet, wonderful moments and memories.

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  24. A beautiful post, my darling Borg sister. Losing somebody is so hard, and each new loss seems to reopen old wounds. I like the analogy of the stars in the sky though :) A gorgeous dish - love the eastern twist on a British classic, and I am a sucker for saffron.

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  25. How delicious-looking! I, too, believe Barbara would love this! I love the color yellow!

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  26. This is a beautiful post. Such a wonderful tribute.

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  27. This was indeed a beautiful post... thoughts, words and photos.

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta