© Joann Pai
Foreword by À Table cookbook author Rebekah Peppler
I grew up on strawberries as dessert, picked fresh and sun-warmed from my grandmother’s garden, topped in the early years with Cool Whip, later with freshly whipped cream. This crème fraîche–laced variation is my French version, eaten the moment strawberries hit the Paris markets (late April or May, if you want to plan a trip around it) through the very end of the season. If you’re using truly ripe strawberries, you shouldn’t need much sugar — it’s meant more to pull out their juices than to actually sweeten. If you’re making this in a shoulder season with less-than-perfect berries, adjust the amount of sugar to taste.
1 lb (455 g) fresh strawberries, stemmed and large berries, halved
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
¼ cup (60 g) crème fraîche
Shortbread or sablés, crumbled
Pinch of fine sea salt
Flaky sea salt
Place a large metal bowl and whisk in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, sugar and fine sea salt. Set aside to macerate while you make the crème.
In the chilled bowl, add the heavy cream and crème fraîche. Whisk until medium peaks form (4 to 6 minutes).
To serve, transfer the fruit to small serving bowls or plates. Dollop with the crème, drizzle with the accumulated strawberry juice and top with shortbread crumbles. Sprinkle with flaky salt and serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted from À Table by Rebekah Peppler with permission by Chronicle Books, 2021.