Like miniature Pavlovas, these crisp-yet-chewy meringue nests from The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook are an elegant dessert that’s actually easy to make. Both the meringues and the tart raspberry fool that fills them can be made ahead of time too, perfect for a country house, or your own kitchen. Just be sure not to repeat Mrs. Patmore’s mistake—use sugar, not salt!
Special Equipment: A piping bag with a star tip makes it easy to form the meringue nests (and the little meringue stars that go on top).
Variations: If the meringue nests crack or don’t get quite crisp enough, just roughly break them into pieces and fold them with the whipped cream, raspberry puree, and a few whole berries for a fine Downton mess (like an Eton mess, which is made with strawberries). You can also replace the raspberries in this recipe with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries gooseberries, or plums (but the latter two will need to be simmered with a little water to soften them a bit before pureeing). Whatever fruit you go with, the fool is also good on its own in a glass for an easy summer sweet.
Read more: How to Host a Downton Abbey Dinner Party
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Recipe excerpted with permission from The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook. by Annie Gray, published by Weldon Owen © September 2019. Photography by Weldon Owen/John Kernick.