Fraises et framboises à la crème

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Strawberries and raspberries with cream

The key to this simple recipe is to find the finest, freshest berries possible. Don’t jump the gun — wait until berry season is upon you with a vengeance. You may use strawberries, raspberries or both. And prepare the berries at the last minute, just before bringing them to the table.

As for the cream, this is one dessert where its worth trying to find a high-quality French crème fraîche. If that is not available, substitute Greek yogurt or sour cream. Or — if you’re feeling energetic — you can make your own crème fraîche from one of the many recipes available on the Web.

This recipe will yield two generous bowls of fruit. For a larger crowd, double or triple the quantities.

1 pint (250 g.) fresh strawberries
1/2 pint (125 g.) fresh raspberries
a few leaves of fresh basil
2 heaping tablespoons crème fraîche
2 tbsp. sugar, preferably demerara or cassonade

It’s best not to wash the fruit. If you feel you must do so to remove pesticides, rinse the berries briefly and dry them gently with a paper towel. Organic fruit does not need to be washed.

Remove the green stems and leaves from the strawberries.

Place the berries in bowls. Cut the basil leaves into thin ribbons and scatter on top.

Spoon on the cream and sprinkle with sugar. Serves 2.

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