Strawberries: A special super easy dessert


strawberriesBy Carolyne

Try this: sprinkle sugar to taste over quite-ripe chopped fresh berries, then cover with ordinary two-per-cent milk. Let stand a few minutes, then mash and stir. Refrigerate. A chemical reaction takes place and the mixture begins to thicken. It tastes even better the next day.

Serve it in stem glasses or in a shrimp cocktail glass with a bit of crushed ice in the base of the container part. Decorate with a sprig of mint and any kind of  berries.

More Strawberries – Leftovers

Here’s another great use for strawberries: Make the strawberries and milk mixture as noted. Make extra. Leave it in the fridge for a couple days. Then, put the berry mix in a metal dish or one that is freezer safe. Freeze until solid.

Place the container on the counter for about 20 minutes. You don’t want it to thaw, but it will get hard as a brick and you will think you can do nothing with it. When you are able to remove the frozen mixture from the container, break or chop the frozen berry mix into a few large chunks. Place it in a food processor and whirr – pulse until a solid mush forms, sort of like ice cream thickness, scraping down the sides of the machine dish.

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Place it in, ideally, a metal container with a cover. I use a plum pudding container that has a cover. Re-freeze. Now you have a semi freddo. You can use this dessert like an ice cream dish. Call it a sherbet or a sorbet, or you can use it as a palette cleanser between courses.

Try placing the mould upside-down on a large cake plate. Release the frozen mould. Cover it with whipped cream and decorate with fresh berries (any kind), or try covering the mould with stiffly beaten egg white. Then flambé it with a portable gas flash torch at the table.

You can make the semi freddo in individual muffin tin trays and decorate each one individually. First freeze the mixture in the muffin trays, whirr each one individually in a food processor and repack into the muffin trays. These keep (covered) in the freezer for a long, long time just like ice cream. Now you have an instant gourmet treat when company comes.

The working title for Carolyne’s Gourmet Recipes cookbook is From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks. This kitchen-friendly doyenne has been honoured and referred to as the grande dame of executive real estate in her market area during her 35-year career. She taught gourmet cooking in the mid-70s and wrote a weekly newspaper cooking column, long before gourmet was popular as it is today. Her ebook, Gourmet Cooking - at Home with Carolyne is available here for $5.99 US. Email Carolyne. Scroll down to the comments at each recipe column. Carolyne often adds complimentary "From Lady Ralston's Kitchen" additional recipes in the Recipes for Realtors Comments section at REM.


  1. Strawberry Flowers stuffed with Figgy Butter Cream Icing

    A terrific bite-size treat. Keep refrigerated on a cold metal platter until serving.

    Prepare my Figgy Butter Cream icing and fill a pastry bag inserting a ribbed tip.

    Choose large fresh firm individual bright red juicy strawberries. Cross-cut on the pointed end, but not all the way through (like when you make my figgy flowers).

    Sprinkle (just a few grains) each berry individually with salt. Yes. Salt. The strawberries will glow with an enhanced natural sweetness. Try it. You surely will see what happens and your taste buds will fall in love with fresh just picked flavour. You could also sprinkle a few grains of sugar. Not much, just as a flavour enhancer. Some strawberries are lacking in their expected intensity. Perhaps caused by lacking soil nutrients where they were grown, or by stressed weather conditions affecting crops.

    (Some people sprinkle a pinch of salt on their apple slices; the salt brings out the natural sweetness.)

    Into the cross-cut, using a tiny espresso spoon, tip in just a drop of my kumquat marmalade. Insert the forcing bag tip into the cut strawberries, spreading the berries just a little and fill with figgy butter cream. Add a tiny bit of minced in your small food processor, mixed homemade candied citrus peels from your pantry sugar jar.

    Top with a tiny fresh mint leaf, dipped in water and granulated sugar to dry, and pop a really tiny frozen green seedless grape on top, that you first marinated in Noilly Prat before freezing.

    Consider five berries per plate serving. These individually stuffed strawberries make a great topper for a Marsala Sabayon served in a martini glass, or for decorating a plain Panna Cotta.

    You can mix and match with melted white and dark chocolate dipped strawberries as a table treat, served separately on a platter.

    You can also use the berry-flowers to top a feather-light genoise, using the figgy butter icing on the base bottom layer, covering the rest of the cake layers in stiff Strawberry Chantilly Cream, or use to decorate the top of your favourite cheese cake.

    These berries also look great on my Chantilly Cream filled Bird’s Nest Pavlova.

    ALTERNATE: You could also offer a platter of my Figgy Flowers, filled with the figgy butter cream, topped with the mint leaf and a frozen tiny green grape.

    You might choose to use sugared grapes to decorate. They help make many beautiful eye candy presentations, even alone as a bunch still on their vine, on a bed and breakfast tray, offered to guests as a special breakfast tray addition.

    © “From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks”
    Turning everyday meal making into a Gourmet Experience


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