This is the time of year I can buy strawberries. I don't have to sniff them, put them down and head to the frozen food section to buy frozen berries. They are starting to taste like real strawberries now and while they cost an arm and a leg, I eat enough to be totally sick of them to last me through the winter.
So here is the beginning of, what I like to call, "the eating of the Strawberries marathon."
Right now, strawberries do need a little help with the flavor. They are starting to taste like strawberries, but to eat them plain still leaves a little to be desired. This recipe uses fresh strawberries, but gives them a little help in bumping up the flavor.
|Reducing the strawberry juice to concentrate the flavor.|
|Straining the pulp to remove the seeds.|
|Beautiful pink strawberry mousse.|
|Fresh strawberries and whipped cream on top. Delicious.|
adapted from Cook's Illustrated
2 lbs. strawberries, hulled
2 Tbsp. berry liqueur
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 tsp. unflavored gelatin
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
Cut enough strawberries into 1/4 inch dice to measure 1 cup. refrigerate until ready to garnish. Pulse remaining strawberries in food processor in 2 batches until most pieces are 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, 6 to 10 pulses. Transfer strawberries to bowl and toss with 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of salt. (Do not clean processor) Cover bowl and let strawberries stand for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Strain processed strawberries through fine-mesh strainer into bowl, you get about 2/3 cup juice. Measure out 3 Tbsp. juice into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over juice, and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Place remaining juice in small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add softened gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin has dissolved. Add berry liqueur and cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Transfer to large bowl.
While juice is reducing, return strawberries to now-empty processor and process until smooth, 15-20 seconds. Strain puree through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl pressing on solids to remove seeds and pulp (you should have about 1 2/3 cups puree). Discard any solids in strainer. Add strawberry puree to juice-gelatin mixture and whisk until incorporated.
Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip cream on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk whipped cream into strawberry mixture until no white streaks remain. Portion into dessert dishes and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 48 hours. If chilled longer than 6 hours, let mousse sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. Serve, garnishing with reserved diced strawberries and fresh whipped cream (if desired).
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May 2, 2014 Daylight 17hrs. 11 min. 12 sec. Temp. H 69/ L 41°F