Eton Mess Ice Cream Sandwiches

  • Time: Overnight
  • Serves: 9

What you need

Ingredients

  • 400g chopped strawberries
  • 50g water
  • 75g sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 500ml double cream
  • 1 x 397ml can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • 7 large egg whites
  • 320g white caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornflour

The ice cream sandwich, or variants thereof, is found in countries as diverse as Iran and Uruguay and is even traditionally scoffed for breakfast in Sicily. At it's most basic its just ice cream between something that makes it easier to hold, like bread or a wafer, but in our rather baroque and terribly British version, we've used meringue.

Directions

  1. Heat the strawberries, water and sugar in a saucepan. Simmer until the strawberries have broken up and the liquid has become thick and syrupy - this may take a while, but persevere as it's crucial to the setting of the ice cream that there's not too much water in the mixture. Turn the heat off and add the vanilla essence and lemon juice. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 110°C fan/220°F. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks, then beat in the condensed milk. Pour into a 20cm lined square brownie tin then leave to set in the freezer, preferably overnight.
  3. Using clean, electric beaters, whisk until the eggs hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the meringue is thick and glossy, and will hold up in stiff peaks on the end of the beaters.
  4. Add the vinegar and cornflour and whisk again until combined. Using a large spoon, evenly divide onto both 20cm lined baking trays.
  5. Bake them for two hours then turn off the oven and leave to sit overnight - depending on your oven this should mean the meringues are crispy on the outside yet chewy inside and therefore a lot easier to cut.
  6. Remove the ice cream from the fridge and place one of the meringue sheets on top, bobbly side up. Very gently turn it over onto the board you want to serve it on so the ice cream is facing up. Peel away the greaseproof paper and place the other meringue sheet on top, flat side against the ice cream. Chill in the freezer until ready to serve, then cut into 9 squares.
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