In a small bowl whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, whip the egg whites until they are foamy.
Then while the egg whites are still whipping, gradually add the sugar and cornstarch until the mixture becomes glossy and forms stiff peaks. The texture will be kind of like shaving foam.
Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper, then add big spoonfuls of the meringue onto the sheet, with the meringues about 2 inches apart. Don’t worry about making them look pretty or perfect, you’re going to be breaking them up when they’re cooked anyway. See the pictures above for size reference.
Bake for 1 hour, until they are barely golden in colour, cracked and dry.
After 1 hour the meringues will have a nice marshmallowy centre, but if you want them more dry, bake them a little longer…15 minutes at a time, watching them to make sure they don’t burn.
Set aside to cool.
Making the Raspberry Compote:
While the meringues are baking, you can make the raspberry compote.
In a saucepan over low-medium heat, combine the raspberries and sugar.
Cook until the raspberries release their juices, soften and break down into a chunky sauce. I stir the mixture only a couple of times, if you over stir the raspberries will break down and you’ll end up with more of a jam. You want there to be raspberry chunks. This takes about 15 -20 minutes, or until you see that the sauce is more like syrup instead of juice.
Set aside to cool completely. Tip! If you want to speed things up transfer the raspberry mixture to a separate bowl and refrigerate.
Making the Whipping Cream:
Whip the cream until it has stiff peaks.
Hand stir in the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla, until fully combined.
Putting it all together:
Once both the meringues and the raspberry compote are completely cool, you can put the dessert together. Note: These have to be cooled completely or the meringue will dissolve and the whipping cream will melt.
Now choose the type of serving dish you want for this dessert. You can use small plates, glasses, small jars or even a trifle bowl.
When you’re ready to assemble the Eton Mess, take one meringue and break it apart, then place it onto your dish.
Add dollops of whipping cream.
Drizzle on the raspberry compote.
Serve immediately and enjoy! Seriously though…you will LOVE this dessert.