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January 2014 Issue
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Eton Mess

Eton Mess. Photo: Mark Banham

Despite our best efforts, backcountry food typically has a bit of a rough trip to the dinner table. Your average tramping pack is in fact a highly efficient food processing device capable of squashing, mashing and breaking just about any food group. But sometimes that’s actually an advantage. Take for instance the infamous Eton Mess.

Profile

Serves: Two

Weight: 470g

Volume: 500ml

Kilojoules: 8065

Cost: $12.88

Time: 15min

Ingredients

250ml UHT cream

100g dehydrated

strawberries

8 small meringues

Shaved dark chocolate and a sprig of mint (if it’s growing nearby).

Method

The hardest part of this recipe is finding a decent supply of dehydrated strawberries. But don’t worry if you can’t – it’s easy enough to take matters into your own hands and do it yourself. If you’ve got a dehydrator that’s great, but if not, simply slice the strawberries into about half-centimetre wide strips and place on baking paper in the oven at its lowest setting. It takes a while (turning them periodically will help) but the good news is your house will smell awesome once you’re done!

Then it’s just a matter of popping the strawberries in some water when you get to the hut and, while they’re re-hydrating, whipping the cream with a fork, crumbling the meringue (if your pack hasn’t done that for you already) and mixing the whole lot together.

Don’t worry too much about presentation – when the recipe has ‘mess’ in the title, I don’t think people expect too much. I usually sprinkle some grated chocolate over the top of it and garnish with a sprig of mint.

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