For Christmas eton mess (to feed 12) you will need: 300g fresh cranberries, approx one bag of amaretti biscuits (I used some gingernuts too and therefore less amaretti but I'm sure both work), Marsala wine (just a glug- and I'm sure something else sweet and boozy would also work), 600ml double cream (I found one flavoured with brandy but again that isn't necessary), meringue nests or the ingredients to make meringues, the juice and zest of one large orange, 150g caster sugar, 500g mascarpone.
First take the fresh cranberries, the zest and juice of one orange and the caster sugar and put on a medium heat, bring to the boil then simmer for ten minutes, or a little longer if you'd prefer some of the cranberries to burst (say 12 minutes). Stir at regular intervals to ensure all the cranberries are getting sweetened. Take off the heat and allow to rest in the pan.
Then take the biscuits and break with your hands, then pour in the Masala, depending on how much you wish- I would say you need at least two tablespoons but a little more if you wish. If you don't want to use any alchochol I would suggest just skipping this stage but crushing the biscuits more finely so they are crumbs and possibly mixing them with the cramberries rather than layering.
Beat the biscuits and Marsala together so you have a softened but still textured mixture
Then take a bowel or glass (preferably something see through to make the most of the dish). First put in a layer of biscuit and then add a layer of cranberries on the top as shown. Keep back a small ammount of the cranberry mixture for later.
Put those to one side, If possible keep them at room tempreture but if you are making them in advance then just remove them from the fridge approx half an hour before serving (and keep them covered with cling film which I did after taking the picture but which didn't look so pretty! this is hygienic and also keeps the aroma in).
Then take the cream and marscapone, whisk them together. Then add your home made or bought meringues in small crumbled pieaces.
Then add the small ammount of fruit that is left and stir in.
Put the cream and meringue mixture in the fridge and only add that section when you are serving the mess otherwise it will seep into the laters of cranberry.
Wishing everyone a very happy, aromatic Christmas