This mango passion fruit Eton mess is a wonderfully tropical and luscious twist on the classic British dessert. It's incredibly easy to prepare, being just cream, fruit and meringue, and tastes both light and indulgent at the same time.
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I'll admit, before we came to Australia, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect food-wise. I knew the odd Australian foods, like vegemite, but I also knew a few some described as Australian I would consider British.
Looking at the area we were going to be living, it was clear you could access cuisine from various parts of the world. And I'm glad to say, we've been lucky to find a couple great, authentic Asian restaurants nearby. Between that and the many cafes with good coffee, it has helped me settle in.
Modern Australian cuisine
Australian cuisine is very much a reflection of it's history, being a mix of various influences from around the world. There are some aboriginal foods, often called "bush tucker", and some modern Australian creations, particularly sweets.
Things like lamingtons, various slices like lemon slice and pavlova are fairly distinctly Australian (although they share claim on the latter with New Zealanders).Otherwise, though, most Australian foods seem to be largely adopted (like sausage rolls) or fusions from elsewhere.
Not that that's a bad thing, by any means. While I've yet to enjoy too much myself, from what I've read the evolving Modern Australian cuisine can be truly delicious, making use of some of local ingredients, especially native Australian herbs, to make twists on cuisine from around the world.
While this Australian take on Eton mess uses locally available fruit rather than aromatics, it's the same principle, and the result is truly delicious. In fact despite being British myself, I might even prefer this to the classic dessert. Or maybe I just need to make more excuses to have both.
Being such a vast country with different climate regions, Australia produces a huge variety of produce. Tropical fruits like mango and passion fruit grow very well in certain areas and are widely available.
How to choose and store passion fruit
One of the slightly tricky things with passionfruit is you can't see the part that you eat, so it can be hard to know whether you are choosing a good fruit or not. However, there are a couple of tricks.
First, look for passionfruit that are relatively plump and with minimal wrinkles. Particularly when they are not local, they may seem slightly shriveled, but smoother is likely fresher so worth looking for.
Secondly, feel the weight of them in your hand. The heavier it feels for its size, the more juicy pulp it has inside. So you are looking for heavy-feeling fruit.
You can store the fruit on the counter for around 2 weeks, especially if cool, or put them in a plastic bag in the fridge to keep a week or two longer.
When you want to use them, if you are using the pulp in a dish like this the easiest thing is to cut them in half through the middle and scoop the seeds and other pulp away from the edge into a small bowl. You may want to break up the pulp a little with a spoon (or your hands) to save it clumping and be easier to eat.
Making this tropical dessert
This dessert comes together really easily as all you do is cut up the mango, break up the meringue and whip the cream with a little sugar and vanilla. You can do each of these ahead of time but I'd recommend leaving the assembly until you are ready to serve.
The cream and fruit can make the meringue soften so to keep it more crisp, it's best to only mix before serving. Often with Eton mess, I mix the fruit right in with the cream and meringue, but here I have made the fruit separate layers. I think it both shows them off a bit better, plus the fruit is more delicate and can break up.
While this mango passion fruit Eton mess might be a little indulgent, it still tastes relatively light due to all the fruit in there. It might be less elegant than some desserts, but it still holds it's own. And with such a wonderful mix of flavors and textures, you'll love it on first bite anyway.
Try these other easy desserts:
- Mango cheesecake parfait
- Crema Catalana
- Peach panna cotta
- Plus get more dessert recipes in the archives.
Mango passion fruit Eton mess
- 1 mango or 2 if small giving approx 1 cup diced
- 2 passion fruit giving approx ¼ cup passionfruit pulp
- 4 small meringue nests or homemade meringue using 1 egg/2oz sugar - see below
- 1 cup heavy cream 240ml double cream
- 2 tablespoon confectioner's sugar icing sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Peel the mango and remove the flesh from the stone. Cut the flesh into a relatively small dice.
- Cut the passionfruit in half through the middle and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. Break up any larger pieces of pulp.
- Break up the meringues into smallish pieces, roughly bite-sized.
- Put the cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until it becomes soft-peak stiffness. Fold the meringue pieces into the cream.
- Divide roughly half of the mango between four glasses/serving dishes (around 2tbsp in each). Top with some of the cream-meringue mixture (using roughly half) then add another layer of mango, reserving a little for the top. Top with the remaining cream mixture then spoon over the passionfruit equally between each glass and top with the reserved mango pieces.
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I first shared the post for Mango and passion fruit Australian Eton mess on Curious Cuisiniere where I am a contributor.