Strawberries, strawberries, strawberries … the word is STRAWBERRIES! They are fine, yummy, liked by young and old (and especially by me). But they have a very short season - too short - so we have to use them as soon as possible, eat them as much as possible and, chiefly, prepare as many recipes as we can with them.
So here I am again, with a little strawberry recipe: it's a dessert, because my passion for desserts, both cooking them and eating them, is inexhaustible. I wanted something fresh and simple, because time is of the essence. I remembered a picture I saw in a book when strawberries were out of season, and I couldn't make the recipe. I looked for it but couldn't find the book!
Never mind, I remember it was like a Catalan cream (crème br ûlée) or a crème caramel with strawberries. To get to work, then. I got hold of all the ingredients: eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla. I prepared this crème caramel using Felder's recipe, to which I added strawberries, of course.
Strawberry Crème Caramel
Serves: 8 people
- 250 g (0.55 lb or 1.3 cups) granulated sugar (for the caramel)
- 6 whole eggs
- 4 egg whites
- 200 g (0.44 lb or 1 cup) granulated sugar
- 15 vanilla pods
- 1 liter (2.1 pt) whole milk
- 30 strawberries
1. Prepare the caramel. Pour half the sugar into a thick-bottomed casserole dish and let it melt on a medium heat, gently stirring with a wooden spoon. Once the first half has melted, add the rest of the sugar, and cook until you have a light-colored caramel. Turn off the flame and let the caramel finish coloring. Once ready, place the casserole dish in a container with cold water to halt the cooking. Drip the caramel immediately, when it's still fluid, into the cocottes (I used heat-resistant glasses) to about a 5 mm (0.19 in) thickness. While it's cooling, prepare the cream.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 160° C (320° F).
3. Break the whole eggs into a container, then add the whites. Whip the eggs, then pour in the sugar and continue whipping. Stirring is also sufficient.
4. Add the vanilla and blend with a mixer to create a uniform cream.
5. Add the warm milk, little by little, and keep stirring. Strain the mixture through a small-holed sieve to remove the vanilla pod residue.
6. Chop up the strawberries and add them to the cream.
7. With a ladle, fill the glasses with the cream, pouring it over the hardened caramel.
8. Line a baking pan with oven paper, place the glasses in it, in 1 cm (0.40 in) of cold water to create a bain-marie, then bake for 1 hour.
9. The creams will be ready when they no longer "tremble". Let them cool, then put them in the fridge.
10. Serve well chilled.
Do you think this is a recipe worthy enough to end the strawberry season with a flourish … or will I surrender and prepare another one?
You'll find out in the next installment!