The last time I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family and friends was when I was back home visiting my parents just a few days before I got my graduate school acceptance letter in 2011. It was my first time cooking for a load of people, about 50, and I had pages upon pages of notes organized to ensure that the meal and day were perfect. Fast forward to the following year and I celebrated a friendsgiving in graduate school with people living in my dormitory. It was yet again another feast that I made for about 20 of us and it was possibly the only hot meal we all managed to have that week as we prepared for exams. For some reason, however, I never really got to celebrate Thanksgiving in London and as years went by I just forgot that the holiday existed. It’s a shame really because there’s just so much to those Thanksgiving days where you spend time with those closest to you and you fill the day with gratitude.
Since being back home, I feel a bit nostalgic to those initial days of Thanksgiving dinner parties and have been feeling a bit guilty for being so neglectful of offering to share it with my London friends. This year I decided to combine my worlds and make something for a Thanksgiving dinner party I’m attending. Something that is an ode to my days in the UK all whilst upholding the values of Thanksgiving in the US. I thought long and hard how to combine my worlds and an eton mess recipe seemed like the right direction!
An eton mess recipe is a staple in most British households, so it only deems appropriate to introduce Americans to such ha delicacy. I decided to make a Thanksgiving or Autumnal eton mess recipe that brings in the warmth of spices and natural sweetness from the pears and cranberry. My Thanksgiving eton mess recipe calls for ginger roasted pears, spiced cranberry chutney, and rosemary walnuts that add a freshness to the marriage that is meringue and cream! There’s lots of flavors and textures in this eton mess recipe, and it makes it an easy recipe to make ahead!
For the Meringue
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Cranberry Chutney
- 2 cups cranberries
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp clove
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbs water
For the Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbs sugar of choice
For the Roasted Pears
- 5 pears, peeled, halved and cored
- 5 tbs maple syrup
- 30 strips of fresh ginger
For the Rosemary Walnuts
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped & roasted
- 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tbs ghee
First do the meringues, these can be made ahead of time. I made them the day before and stored the meringues in an airtight container. Preheat the oven to 200F and line a baking tray with parshment paper. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed. As suds form, increased the speed to medium high. Whilst beating, add a tablespoon of sugar to the mixture. Let the mixture incorporate and then proceed with the next tablespoon. This might take about 8-10 minutes. Then slowly beat in the vanilla extract. The mixture should be glossy with firm peaks. Feel the texture and ensure that the sugar has been competely incorporated. Either make small meringues or one large meringue and bake for about 90 minutes.
For the rest of the eton mess recipe. Preheat the oven to 400F. In a prepared baking tray, place the pears cut-side down. Place 1 strip of ginger under the pear and three on top. Drizzle with 1/2 tbs or more of maple syrup on each. Bake for 20 minutes.
For the cranberry chutney, place all the incredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes.
For the whipping cream, beat the sugar and whipping cream on medium-high until soft peaks form. Slowly add in the vanilla.
For the rosemary walnuts, heat ghee in a pan add in the fresh rosemary and remove from heat. The mixture will become aromatic! Stir in the walnuts.
In a tall glass, add in some crumble meringue, cranberry chutney, roasted pears, cream, and then rosemary walnuts! It goes amazing with prosecco or a reisling.