O Canada!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Yesterday was a glorious first of July, the celebration of Canada's 150th birthday. We chose not to be part of the crowd at one of the official celebrations (here in Toronto, and across the country), opting for a morning walk along the shore of Lake Ontario. It was the perfect way to reflect on how grateful we are to live in this beautiful country and enjoy its many freedoms.
Downtown Toronto in the background, Lake Ontario to the right

Raising a 150 memorial

Early morning mist make the CN Tower look like a ghost ship

The Canada Day dessert I served for dinner definitely has colonial roots, but I put a Canadian spin on it. While a typical Eton Mess is made with strawberries, I gave ours a twist with raspberries, and a thick streak of raspberry sauce. The result was a lovely, summery dessert that we were happy to linger over in the back yard. Happy Canada Day!

Eton Mess: The Canada Day variation

This is more of a guideline than a recipe. I put half in a large glass bowl, and the other half in individual stemmed glasses. Layer the various components in whatever order you like, being sure that  the meringue is always next to whipped cream (either above or below).

4 egg whites
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp vinegar

Raspberry sauce
1 1/2 cups raspberries
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp raspberry jam

For assembly
2 cups whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1 pint raspberries

To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 275 degrees, and prepare  two 9" cake pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper, and buttering the sides. Beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to high, then add brown sugar and white sugar a tablespoon at a time until incorporated. Beat until stiff. Add vanilla and vinegar, and beat another 1-2 minutes. Divide the meringue mixture between the two cake pans, and smooth the tops. Bake for one hour, then turn off the heat in the oven, prop the door with a wooden spoon, and let them sit in the oven another hour.  Break the meringues into small pieces and set aside.

To make the raspberry sauce, combine berries, sugar and jam in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Let thicken, then remove from heat and cool until ready to use.

To assemble the dessert, either use a large glass bowl or individual glasses (or a combination, as I did). Start with whipping cream on the bottom, then layer meringues, raspberry sauce, berries and more whipping cream to the top. Make sure you reserve enough raspberries to decorate the top of the dessert. Enjoy!