Strawberries Romanoff

Since the Brits served strawberries and cream to 200 spectators at the first Wimbledon tennis championship in 1877, the pairing has garnered popularity far beyond Center Court. The strawberry's history, however, is even longer. In the 14th century, the French used strawberries to cure depression. A hundred years later, strawberries were transplanted from forest floors for cultivation all over Europe. The lust for these heart-shaped, juicy, brilliant, garnet-colored berries has yet to wane. This plate is the American answer to the beloved English tradition. The addition of spices, sugar, and distilled spirits make an elegant early summer, make-in-advance, light dessert.

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Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.

William Butler, 17th Century

kitchen notes

Only make this dessert when strawberries are at their peak, usually late May through early July in most parts of the United States. Strawberries that must make the coast to coast journey are varieties bred to look good and travel well but lack the juiciness and softer texture of natively grown local berries.

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ingredients

16 ounce container organic sour cream

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 ounces Grand Marnier

3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Zest of 1 orange

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 quarts locally grown strawberries

 

directions

1. Whisk the sour cream, brown sugar, cognac, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, cinnamon, and orange zest together in a MEDIUM BOWL.

2. Beat the cream until it has the consistency of whipped cream. Fold the whipped cream into the sour cream mixture.

3. Place the cream mixture into a SERVING VESSEL and finely grate 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg over the surface. Serve with fresh local strawberries.

SERVES 8

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