Today a quick recipe to sweeten your weekend. We've been going to the strawberry fields quite often the past week. This year they are exceptionally sweet and juicy. After the rains left we've had nothing but sunny and warm weather and it seems that the strawberries enjoyed the extra sun they got. They are perfect and so tempting that there is no resisting.
One day this past week I missed lunch and in the afternoon when I picked Soeren up my tummy grumbled at me for not taking care of it. I decided to hit the strawberry fields with Soeren, not only to satisfy my hunger but also to pick strawberries for a few dessert ideas. After we literally devoured several of the aromatic berries and filled up our tummies we began picking. It was just Soeren and me and these are some of my favorite moments with my son.
We were fairly alone on the huge field and as the days stress wore off, Soeren began telling me all about his fantasy of living in Strawberry City. It was a fun fantasy at first - where everything was made out of juicy strawberries. Later we realized it would be a bit monotone as we'd miss several of the other fruits we love so much.
As our baskets were filled he asked what I was making for dessert - it was easy - something that featured strawberries of course.
All three of us love creamy desserts and one of our favorite types is often made with plain milk or cream, thickened and flavored. Panna cotta, malabi, Bavarian cream and of course blancmange (Blanc Manger) are just a few to name. While I’ve made several types of panna cotta (just need to visit my recipe index to see what I mean), I never actually made blancmange at home.
I landed on Aran’s recipe and found her twist of using crème fraiche and whipped cream very intriguing. The fact that the results would be more mousse-like and light was perfect for the hot summer day. Instead of the crème fraiche however, I added plain quark to give it a slightly more tangier flavor complementing the gorgeous sweetness of the strawberry compote.
The strawberry compote itself is a simple yet luscious combination of the berries some icing sugar and a dash of balsamic vinegar.
All in all a perfect fresh, fruity and light dessert to enjoy after a fantastic day at the strawberry fields!
Printable version of recipe here.
For the Quark Blancmange
(adapted from Cannelle et Vanille)
250g plain quark
350g heavy cream
2 vanilla beans
75g fine sugar
3 gelatin leaves
For the Strawberry Compote
300g strawberries, hulled and halved
2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Soften the gelatin in ice water for approx. 5 minutes. In the meantime whisk heavy cream, vanilla and sugar until sot peaks form.
- Squeeze access water out of the gelatin and place in a saucepan. Remove approx. 2-3 tablespoons of the whipped cream and over a very low heat stir the mixture until the gelatin has dissolved.
- Pour the gelatin mixture into a clean bowl, then add about 1 cup of the whipped cream and whip further to temper the gelatin. Now fold in the rest of the cream. Without tempering the gelatin with part of the cream first will cause the gelatin to set quickly and create chunks in your cream mixture.
- Now gently fold in the quark into the cream. Divide the mixture into 6 small dessert glasses or one large bowl. Place in the refrigerator and allow to set – approx 4-6 hours. If you are using individual glasses fill only 3/4 full.
- Combine strawberries and about 1 tablespoon icing sugar and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and allow to cook at medium heat, stirring occasionally. After 8 to 10 minutes the compote should have thickened and be pulpy. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Serve blancmange with strawberry compote. If using individual dessert glasses pour the compote into the glasses, otherwise portion the blancmange into individual bowls or plates and spoon the compote over the top.
This picture says it all. It was so good that every trace of the dessert was wiped – or should I say licked clean! The blancmange had the consistency of very soft cheese, the quark rounding it up to give it a slightly zesty flavor. The whipped cream was just perfect for this dessert as it gave it a wonderfully light and fluffy texture. Together with the aromatic and sweet strawberry compote the dessert got thumbs up all around.
More strawberry desserts from WFLH:
|Strawberry panna cotta with balsamic red wine syrup||Crème Fraîche Strawberry Basil Ice-Cream||Strawberry Trifle|
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