Friday, January 12, 2007

Strawberries & Vanilla Ice Cream

This is my favorite dessert in the whole world. It’s the easiest recipe, and the first dessert I ever made. It doesn’t hurt that everyone always loves it. I would serve it to the Queen if she came to dinner.

I got the "recipe" from Kathleen when she and Steven came to spend the
weekend in Philadelphia with Paul and me when we were all about 21 years old. Kathleen made one of the most delicious dinners I have still to this day ever had - four steamed lobsters with a bucket of drawn butter and a huge salad of iceberg lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, and red onion in a very garlicky vinaigrette, followed by strawberries with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Of course this is just as delicious with raspberries, and if you can get just-this-minute-picked strawberries, it will be a revelation.

A friend of mine, who is a pastry chef, says that raspberries and vanilla ice cream make a third thing. I know exactly what she means. You will too when you try it.

Strawberries & Vanilla Ice Cream

Buy a pint (or a quart) of strawberries or raspberries, hull, and cut strawberries in half - or quarters if the strawberries are large. If you're using raspberries, leave them whole.

Put the berries in a bowl, and add 1 to 3 tablespoons of sugar, depending on how sweet the strawberries are to begin with and how many berries you have. Use the least amount of sugar you can. Allow the berries to macerate in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Serve in wine goblets layering (meaning berries, ice cream, berries, ice cream, berries, ice cream - you get the picture - ending with berries on top) the berries with the best vanilla ice cream you can get your hands on. I usually use Häagan-Daz Vanilla Honey Bee. If you're really ambitious you can make your own using David Liebovitz's recipe adapted for the Miracle Ice Cream Technique.

Print recipe.

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