"Today I made Berry-Ginger Mess. It was as delicious as it sounds. The meringues take several hours to bake and set, so I would make them ahead of time (even a day before). It's important that no yolk gets in the egg whites before beating them, so make sure you separate the eggs very carefully. I also left the meringues in the oven until they had completely cooled. The extra time makes them crispier and not so sticky. The hint of ginger in the meringues was a nice touch—it really hits all your senses when you bite into it. In the fall, you could use pumpkin pie spice instead of ginger and other fruits that are in season for a holiday dish. If you want to make this a true 'messy' dessert, you can break up your beautiful meringues and gently stir the pieces into the berries and cream. Yum!"

THE VERDICTMaddie (age 13): She said, "This is the best dessert, so creamy and yummy."Fraanz (age 9): He thought it was delicious, but he would leave the ginger out next time.Matisse (age 13): I love the berries and cream and the crunch and sweetness of the meringue.

Berry-Ginger MessHands-on: 30 min. Total: 4 hr. 30 min.

Eton Mess is an English dessert of strawberries, cream, and crushed meringues. We bake the meringues longer than usual for a toasted marshmallow flavor.

5 tablespoons sugar, divided1/8 teaspoon ground ginger3 large egg whites, at room temperature¼ teaspoon cream of tartar¼ teaspoon salt, divided½ teaspoon vanilla extract2 tablespoons honey1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved1 cup blueberries 1 cup raspberries1/3 cup chilled heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 225°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; tape paper to baking sheet.

2. Combine ¼ cup sugar and ginger. Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and 1/8 teaspoon salt; beat at medium speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating just until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla; beat just until combined. Spoon mixture by 2 tablespoons into mounds onto baking sheet (about 18 total). Bake at 225° for 4 hours or until meringues are straw-colored, rotating pan once after 2 hours. Turn off oven (do not remove pan). Cool meringues to room temperature.

3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and honey in a bowl. Add berries; toss. Let stand 1 hour. 4. Beat cream with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Place 1 meringue in each of 6 dessert glasses; divide half of berry mixture among glasses. Top each serving with 1 meringue. Divide remaining berry mixture among glasses. Top each with 2 tablespoons whipped cream. Crumble 1 meringue over each serving.

SERVES 6CALORIES 150; FAT 5.3g (sat 3.1g, mono 1.5g, poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 3g; CARB 25g; FIBER 2g; CHOL 18mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 132mg; CALC 21mg

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