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Celebrate summer with strawberries

Published July 2, 2013 7:14 pm

Chefs' favorites • Try a verrine — as Madeleines makes it.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Chef • Romina Rasmussen, Les Madeleines

A mouthful of strawberries is like pure sunshine. I love them! I use strawberries as often as I can in the spring and summer months, during the peak of their harvest.

My favorite way to use strawberries is in a dessert like a verrine, or a dessert in glass, so you can see all of the vibrant shades of red and pink. Verrines are the perfect way to showcase different layers of flavors and textures, and the combinations are endless.

In my recipe for strawberry verrine, I've paired summer ripe strawberries with pistachios, which happens to be one of my favorite flavor combinations. If you can find Dumante, a pistachio liqueur, it will add a nutty flare to the macerated fruit that is delicately layered between the layers of Bavarian cream. Though my recipe calls for a pistachio biscuit at the base of the cup, a lemon pound or angel food cake would be equally divine.

By combining rich Bavarian with fresh, in-season strawberries, it keeps the dessert from feeling heavy — I like my summer desserts light.

The biggest challenge you'll have with this recipe is eating only one!

Les Madeleines • 216 E. 500 South Salt Lake City; 801-355-2294 —

Calling all chefs

Today, The Tribune launches a new column that will highlight recipes from local chefs. Do you know a chef whose work should be featured here? Have him or her contact food writer Heather May at hmay@sltrib.com. —

Summer strawberry verrine

Bavarian

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 packet unflavored gelatin or 2.5 gelatin sheets

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups pureed strawberries

1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

Compote

1 cup strawberries

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon Dumante or orange juice

Topping

Chopped pistachios

pistachio biscuit, lemon pound cake or angel food cake (optional)

To make the Bavarian, whip cream to stiff peaks and refrigerate until ready to use.

Dissolve gelatin by sprinkling over 2 tablespoons of water. If using sheet gelatin, soak in cold water until soft.

Warm pureed strawberries, vanilla seeds and sugar over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add softened gelatin. Stir to make sure it's completely melted.

Cool the fruit mixture in a bowl that has been place on an ice bath (half water, half ice).

Stir to make sure the fruit puree closest to the sides of the bowl don't completely set.

When the mixture is cold to the touch and wobbly, remove from the ice bath, and fold in the reserved whipped cream.

To make the strawberry compote, toss all ingredients together and allow the fruit to release its juices. Do this about 2 hours before serving.

To assemble, place the optional cake or cookie in the bottom of a clear cup or jar. Alternatively layer cream and compote.

Allow at least 3 hours to set in the fridge (this can be made the day before). Garnish with chopped pistachios or a French macaron.

Serves • 8 individual desserts (approx 6-8 oz. each)

Source: Romina Rasmussen, Les Madeleines