Thursday, August 5, 2010

Block Party Strawberry Dessert Recipe

Several people asked for the recipe for the strawberry dessert I made for the block party, so here goes. It's based on a lavender honey recipe I learned from my dad, and on an Italian-style dessert my mom makes every summer.

dried or fresh lavender flowers
2-3 pints strawberries
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2-3 tbsp sugar
1 drop vanilla essence
5 oz meringues (Size and shape is irrelevant, as these will be crumbled. I used a package of Spaan's vanilla meringue cookies from Whole Foods this time, but I prefer to use the amazing meringues geantes made by Siew-Chinn Chin for the Pop Up General Store - they are magnificent.)
Start in the morning or the day before by infusing your honey with lavender. I usually buy a squeeze bottle of good, runny honey and add 2-3 tbsp dried lavender flowers to it and just let it sit. I don't strain the flowers out, they add a fun bitter note if some end up in the dessert. I infuse a whole bottle at a time, because lavender honey is good to have around for various applications, like making salad dressings and putting on ice cream. But you could just do a smaller amount.
When it's time to make the dessert, cut your strawberries into halves or quarters, depending on size, and discard the greenery. Leave 5-6 strawberries whole, for decoration. Beat the cream in a mixer or by hand into a nice, fluffy, reasonably solid whipped cream, adding the sugar and vanilla essence to it towards the end.
Put about 1/4 of your total strawberries in the bottom of a large serving bowl. Drizzle with 2-3 tbsp lavender honey. Crumble about 1/4 of your total meringue on top of this. Then ladle in about 1/4 of your total whipped cream. Keep layering like this until you finish with whipped cream. Garnish with whole strawberries and drizzle a little bit more honey on top.
The lavender honey may feel like a cumbersome extra step, but it really adds something special to the dish. An unexpected and refined kind of note.
Serve with good, strong coffee.

1 comment:

Miss B said...

Any Females up there? Im thinking about moving to west Oakland. Im just wondering how safe you feel as a female?

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