Strawberries are coming in season, one of my favorite food times of the year. Here in northern Virginia we have to wait a few more weeks, but warmer areas of the country are already basking in the glow of the beautiful fresh red fruits. My boys are always excited when we come home with strawberries, and they eagerly watch and try to sneak a few nibbles as I wash and trim the fresh berries for salads, ice cream, granita, pies, tarts, or just eating out of hand.
This recipe for strawberries and cream comes from The Military Wives Cookbook, by Carolyn Quick Tillery. It’s an easy dessert that’s elegant enough to serve to guests. We loved the flavor and think the macaroons lend even more taste and texture. I’ve modified things a bit from the original to suite my taste, reducing the sugar, drizzling some of the Cointreau mixture over the berries, then pouring some of the ice cream mixture on top in the serving dish rather than tossing them all together. I like to see the redness of the berries when I eat them and thought they would look pretty displayed that way. The recipe makes a substantial amount, and though it says 2 servings, I would spread it out over 4 pretty dishes for a light dessert.
To serve this dessert to children, just use fresh strawberries with the cream mixture and cookies (no Cointreau for the kids). You can make your own macaroons or purchase them from your favorite bakeshop or grocery store.
[Updated May 7, 2010.]
STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM WITH MACAROONS
Makes 2 to 4 servings.
medium mixing bowl
stand mixer with whisk attachment (or hand mixer and mixing bowl)
2 to 4 serving dishes
2 cups (~288 g) strawberries, hulled and washed
1/4 cup (44 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) Cointreau
1/2 pint (8 ounces) vanilla ice cream, softened at room temperature (I used David Lebovitz’s recipe for vanilla bean ice cream.)
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
coconut macaroon cookie crumbs (2 or more cookies per serving dish) + whole cookies for garnish (Check to make sure they are gluten-free.)
1. Pat the clean strawberries dry and place in the mixing bowl. Sprinkle sugar and Cointreau over the strawberries. Toss lightly, then refrigerate for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2. In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in the vanilla and almond extracts.
3. SERVE: Divide the macaroon crumbs between the serving dishes, then place strawberries on top of each pile of crumbs. Drizzle some of the Cointreau mixture over the berries. Fold the softened ice cream and heavy cream together, then spoon some of the ice cream mixtures on top. Garnish with a cookie and serve immediately.