May 21, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017

Fulton Mess

Dana Cree's Fulton Mess.

Elderflower meringues, vanilla bavarian, stewed rhubarb and whipped lemon balm cream by Dana Cree, Executive Pastry Chef of The Publican, Publican Quality Meats, Publican Tavern in Chicago, IL.


Yield: 24 servings

Dana Cree, Executive Pastry Chef, The Publican, Publican Quality Meats, Publican Tavern, Chicago, IL.

Elderflower Meringues:

  • 1.76 oz/50 g Nikolaihof elderflower cordial 
  • 7 oz/200 g egg whites
  • 7 oz/200 g granulated sugar
  • 3.5 oz/100 g atomized glucose
  • 0.07 oz/2 g malic acid

1. Place the elderflower cordial and the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on speed 6 until soft peaks form – this should take between 5 and 8 minutes. Do not turn the mixer up higher to shorten the time, the stable texture of your meringue is dependent on slowly whipping the whites. 

2. Mix the sugar, atomized glucose, and malic acid together until evenly blended. Add the sugar mixture, 1.76 oz/50 g at a time, to the whipping egg whites, letting the meringue mix for no less than 60 seconds between each addition. When all the sugar has been added, let the meringue mix for 2 more minutes. 

3. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe the meringue onto a parchment-lined sheet pan in 2” rosettes. 

4. Bake the meringues at 150°F for 2 hours. If the oven won’t go that low, turn it to the lowest setting and prop the oven door ajar. When the meringues are baked all the way through, remove the pan from the oven and let the meringues cool at room temperature. Once cool, immediately gather them up and store them in an airtight container with desiccant packets.

Vanilla Bavarian:

  • 5.3 oz/150 g egg yolks
  • 17.6 oz/500 g heavy cream
  • 7 oz/200 g granulated sugar
  • 2 Madagascar vanilla beans
  • 0.07 oz/2 g salt
  • 6 sheets gelatin, bloomed
  • 21 oz/600 g heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

1. Place the egg yolks in a bowl and set aside. 

2. Place the cream in a medium pot.

3. Place the sugar in a bowl. Split the vanilla beans and scrape the seeds into the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the sugar and seeds together to break them up. Sift the vanilla sugar into the pot with the cream and add the scraped pods. Add the salt and place over medium high heat. Cook, whisking to dissolve the granulated sugar, until the milk comes to a rolling boil. Temper a small amount of the just boiled milk into the egg yolks, then whisk into the pot of vanilla milk. The heat from the recent boil should be enough to thicken the eggs yolks. If not, return to low heat and stir the custard until it thickens. Strain the custard into a metal bowl and add the gelatin. Stir to combine. 

4. Transfer the bowl to an ice bath and stir the custard over the ice bath every 30 seconds, until the custard thickens to the texture of soft whipped cream. Add half of the whipped cream and fold until evenly incorporated. Add the remainder and fold gently until incorporated. Transfer to 8 pint delis and store in the lowboy for 6 hours, preferably overnight, until completely set.

Stewed Rhubarb:

  • 17.6/500 g rhubarb, cut into 1” pieces
  • 3.5 oz/100 g granulated sugar
  • 0.1 oz/3 g orange zest
  • 0.35 oz/10 g vanilla paste
  • 1 oz/30 g Grand Marnier
  • 1 oz/30 g unsalted butter
  • 0.03 oz/1 g salt

1. Place the rhubarb, granulated sugar, orange zest, vanilla paste, and orange liqueur in a heavy-bottomed pot and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally to help the rhubarb cook evenly, until the rhubarb releases its juices and begins to simmer. Turn the heat to medium low and let the rhubarb stew for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. 

2. When the rhubarb is soft and tender through and through, and falling apart, remove the lid from the pot and add the butter and salt. Stir until evenly mixed, then transfer the stewed rhubarb to a container to cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Whipped Lemon Balm Cream:

  • 13 oz/370 g heavy cream
  • 1.76 oz/50 g granulated sugar
  • 4.6 oz/130 g crème fraiche
  • 0.35 oz/10 g lemon balm or lemon verbena, or 0.7 oz/20 g lemon zest if no fresh herb is available

1. Place the cream and granulated sugar in a pot and place over medium high heat. Cook, whisking occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the dairy comes to a boil. Remove the pot from heat, add the lemon balm or verbena, and allow to infuse for 1 hour. 

2. Strain the lemon balm or verbena from the cream, discarding the leaves. Cool the lemon infused cream completely. 

3. Whisk in the crème fraiche. Store the cream in a cambro in the refrigerator. Let the cream rest overnight to ensure the butterfat has re-crystalized before whipping.


  • Fresh strawberries

For each serving, in a tall parfait glass, carefully layer 3 meringues with 1.76 oz/50 g Vanilla Bavarian, 4 cut strawberries, 2.5 oz/70 g Whipped Lemon Balm Cream, and 2.5 oz/70 g of Stewed Rhubarb. Layer each ingredient attractively against the side of the cup, breaking the meringues in half as necessary. Serve immediately.

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