Sophie Dahl's Rhubarb Rosewater Eton Mess

Well, it's sort of Sophie's recipe. I used mine for the meringues. Nonetheless, it's everyone's favorite and you most often see it made with strawberries, but puhleeze!!! There's rhubarb in my market! 
Another plus: if you must, you can cheat and use meringues from your bakery or supermarket bakery. But this dessert is so much better using homemade meringues. 
(Lordy! Could this be any more fattening?)

Sophy Dahl's Rhubarb Rosewater Eton Mess

Ingredients for the meringues:
3 egg whites, room temperature 
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 
3/4 cup sugar 
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste

Ingredients for the rhubarb compote:
scant 1/2 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons sugar
4 sticks of rhubarb chopped in rounds
1 teaspoon rosewater

Ingredients for the whipped cream:

2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Garnish: toasted almond slivers and/or crystallized rose petals

Method for the meringues:
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until foamy. Beating constantly, add sugar, a little bit at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved before adding the next. Continue beating until whites are glossy and stand in stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla.
Prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper. Hard meringues are not actually baked, but are dried in a 225°F oven for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. They are left in the oven after it is turned off to continue drying without browning.

Method for the Rhubarb compote:
In a pan, boil the water with the sugar and add the rhubarb when it starts bubbling. Stir and let it cook for about 5 minutes on a medium heat. When the rhubarb is tender, remove from the heat. Add the rose water and leave to the side.

Method for the whipped cream:

Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Add the vanilla bean paste.

To serve: add a dollop of whipped cream to the bottom of your serving dish. Break up the meringue and place half of it on top, then add the rhubarb, then some whipped cream. Repeat, ending with the whipped cream. Top with browned almonds or crystallized rose petals.


  1. A heavenly combination and delightful Eaton Mess!




  2. You really love rhubarb, don't you? This eton mess looks so yum!

  3. YUM. these looks so delicious and beautiful. definitely a recipe i will be recreating,I love rosewater.

  4. not only have i never made eton mess, a spoonful of it has never passed between my lips! your version sounds incredible!

  5. this looks so good and British

  6. Pondside served us Eton Mess when we visited her in Vancouver. I just saw rhubarb in the market. Will have to try this version.

  7. OMG you read my mind, Barbara! I've been looking for weeks and cannot find store bought meringues ANYWHERE so I will now try to make my own - thank you very much for sharing your recipe. I also love Sophie Dahl and this delicious recipe looks perfect for Spring and worth every single calorie - YUMMMM!!!

  8. I've not seen rhubarb in our markets…now in New England it was always there in the spring. Your dessert sounds great.

  9. Hi Barb, never heard of Eaton Mess before, looks like a delicious dessert. Love rhubarb!!

  10. I just made some rhubarb sauce this week with my first harvest and would love to try this. I actually made something kind of similar with mine :)



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