Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Desserts: Balsamic Strawberries with Lemon Crème Fraiche

When you want to end your meal with something sweet but not as heavy as cake or pie, this is a good choice.

 

6 to 8 servings

 

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar reduction

½ cup sugar

½ cup water

2 lbs fresh strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered to bite size

½ cup lemon crème fraiche

 

If you like balsamic vinegar, you'll really like it reduced.  I suggest making extra to keep some on hand. Start with at least 2 cups and reduce it to 1. Use it whenever you'd like to have a thick, sweet, tangy balsamic.  Try it with olive oil as a dip for bread, in salad dressing, or in any recipe that calls for balsamic vinegar.  We got two litres from Costco and reduced them into one. 

 

Pour balsamic vinegar into pan over high heat.  Whisk briskly, even before it boils.  Whisk occasionally as it boils to prevent burning. Reduce by half, or until it gets thick and syrupy.

 

Put sugar in a separate small saucepan over medium heat.  Watch carefully.  As it starts to melt, stir occasionally.  When all the sugar has melted and the resulting liquid is caramel colored, add the water and balsamic vinegar.  The sugar will crystallize and the water will sputter, but don't panic.  Turn the heat down to low and simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn heat off and cool for 30 minutes. 

 

Put strawberries in a bowl and pour cooled vinegar mixture over them.  Stir to coat.  Let them sit at room temperature for up to 6 hours.  Stir every 30 minutes or so.  The syrup will get thinner as the strawberries sit in it.

 

Divide the strawberries in to serving bowls.  Top with a dollop of lemon crème fraiche.  


When I first started making this recipe, I used lemon crème fraiche by The Devon Cream Company that I purchased at Whole Foods.  Once I couldn't find it so I improvised.  If you can't find ready-made lemon crème fraiche, it's easy to make your own.


Lemon Creme Fraiche


1/2 cup creme fraiche

1/4 cup lemon curd


Using a fork, stir together in a bowl until smooth.