We seldom make dessert at home. I'm not a baker, and would rather prefer to spend my time cooking up savouries rather than sweet things. But the husband has a sweet tooth, and this has helped us get creative with some quick-to-make items that can easily satisfy that after-dinner craving. It’s strawberry season at our weekly farmer’s market and we’ve been lucky enough to have a fruit seller called BerryLicious (out of Gilroy) who's been bringing us pints and pints of gorgeous, sweet and tasty and ginormous strawberries for about a month or so… They’ve also been selling out by market-end as their berries are really just too good to pass up - one taste and you’ll be bringing home at least a pint. I brought home 3 pints last week, consumed one on my own while at work one day and DD decided to turn the remaining 2 baskets into a dessert for us.
He’d been wanting to do balsamic strawberries for a while, but was able to get additional ideas for enhancements from this Kitchen of Friends blogpost, adding our own spin to it, of course.
- 2 pints strawberries
- 1/8 cup Balsamic vinegar*
- ¼ cup soft muscovado sugar (brown sugar will do)
- 1 Tbs Cointreau
- 1Tbs St. Germain Liqueur de Poete**
- Sour cream or crème fraiche
- Orange Zest
Cut the strawberries in quarters, mix in the sugar, vinegar, Cointreau and Liqueur de Poete. Zest up your orange and sprinkle chopped mint into the mixture. Let macerate for a few minutes (5-10?). Finally, when you can’t stand it any longer, plate your dessert – ladle out the strawberries on a platter (or bowl), scoop in some sour cream, spoon some of the syrupy mixture around the berries and crème and enjoy.
*we used a beautiful 50-year Modena we picked up from Spain; not required, though, but do use the best balsamic you have.
**Liqueur de Poete: a brandy-like liqueur, made by local small batch distillers Germain Robin – other brandies, perhaps an eau de vie, may be substituted.
And because it's too nice to miss, here's the very pretty poem provided on the Liqueur de Poete label:
Seldom Yet Now
Seldom yet now the quality
Of this wild love between us --
Seldom the encounter
Thy presence always
Free of oath or promise
And if we were not so
But birds of similar plumage caged
In the peace of every day
Would we still conjure the wildfire up
From common earth, as now?