If you glance at the kiosks around this time of year in France, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a food magazine that isn’t offering dessert recipes for “fruits rouge“. All berries are put on display this time of year, but only one plump beauty really holds center stage: the strawberry.
And really, not just any strawberry. One of the fruity claims to fame of the South, along with melons from Cavaillon, is the strawberry from Carpentras.
Carpentras is located in the department of the Vaucluse, but as with most products in Provence, you’ll find strawberries from Carpentras at local markets all around the region.
And after reading about these famed berries on several Provence blogs, we decided to give one of these French recipes a whirl. There are many recipes online, but I particularly liked this version as it is très French – no layers of ladyfingers but one placed simply at the bottom and topped with lightly sweetened mascarpone. And if you really want to go all-out French, try a madeleine instead… super bon, just don’t mention it to your italien amis.
Tiramisu aux Fraises
6 ladyfingers (or madeleines)
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 1/2 cups of mascarpone
1/2 cup of sugar
6 sprigs of mint
1 pinch of salt
1. Seperate the egg whites and set aside. Mix the yokes with the mascarpone and 1/4 a cup of sugar. Beat the egg whites with the salt until they form peaks. Fold them into the mascarpone and place in the refrigerator.
2. Rinse the mint. Wash and remove the stems of the strawberries. Cut six of the strawberries in a fan and mix the rest in a food processor (or blender) with the remaining sugar.
3. Pour one tablespoon of the strawberry sauce in the bottom of six small serving glasses. Place one lady finger on top of the sauce and fill to the top with the mascarpone mixture. Top with one of the “fanned” strawberries and cool in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
4. Top with a mint sprig before serving.
recipe credit: Vie Pratique Gourmand, Spring 2011