Friday, April 15, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake with Strawberry Sorbet & Creme Fraiche Sauce

I love this desert. Thats' kinda all I have to say about it. 

OK I can probably muster up a few more words: fruity, buttery, tangy, cold & hot. Awesome. Does awesome work for you? because it works for me. The amount of work involved was really pretty minimal but the pay-off was huge. Just so frigging tasty!

I used the leftover creme fraiche sauce on top of a bowl of leftover strawberry sorbet. Then on top of a bowl of fresh strawberries. Then I just ate it by the spoon. Seriously addictive stuff.

Strawberry Shortcake with Strawberry Sorbet & Creme Fraiche Sauce
Adapted from the French Laundry Cookbook
Makes enough for 6 people 

  • 3/4 cup chopped strawberries
  • powdered sugar
To assemble:
Spoon some of the creme fraiche sauce onto a plate. Cut a biscuit in half and place the bottom half on top of the creme fraiche sauce. Top with some chopped strawberries ( as many as you can pile!). On top of the strawberries, add a quenelle of the strawberry sorbet ( or, you know, a scoop). Top the whole thing off with the top of the biscuit and dust on some powdered sugar. 

Buttermilk Biscuits
Make about 12 biscuits 
Thomas Keller's original recipe has you combine the cold butter by hand but I find that a food processor is quicker and ensures that the butter stays cold. 
  • 2 cups cake flour 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled 
  • 11/2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet that has been doubled up with another cookie sheet so you have one on top of the other. 

In a food processor combine the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and chunks of butter. Pulse as few times as possible to break down the butter so that the mixture looks like sand. 

Pour the mixture either onto your counter top or large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the buttermilk, gently folding it into the mixture with a wooden spoon. The mixture will not come together entirely but once the milk has been incorporated, roll (or just form) the dough into a rectangle of about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out the biscuits with a 2.5 inch round cutter. 

Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes or until they have risen and the tops are golden. 

Strawberry Sorbet
You're gonna have extra and it's gonna be great.

  • 2.5 pounds strawberries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
Wash, hull and cut your strawberries in half. In a blender combine the strawberries, honey and sugar. Blitz until very smooth. I was surprised that Thomas Keller doesn't make you strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve- but he doesn't so- yay! Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker as per the manufacturer's instructions. 

Creme Fraiche Sauce
So delicious and easy to make. Eat the extra (if you have any) drizzled over any kind of berries. 
  • 3/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tbl plus 1.5 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 vanilla bean
Combine the creme fraiche and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Meanwhile take your 1/4 vanilla bean and slice it in half. Using a knife, scrape the caviar inside the bean into the sauce along with the bean itself. Bring to a simmer and keep warm to serve. 

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