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Few things in life are prettier than a bowl brimming with strawberries’ plumb red hearts. There are dozens of ways to create strawberry desserts. A simple bowl sprinkled with sugar and swimming in cream is enough to satisfy the sweetest tooth, but there’s no need for the clever cook to stop there. Strawberry shortcake might be the first of strawberry desserts to spring to mind, but there are also strawberry crepes, pies, cakes, and even cheesecakes and puddings to consider.
Fresh from the garden or the farmer’s market, unblemished strawberries don’t require much of this and that to dress up into a truly elegant dessert. Rather than pouring cream atop a bowl of the ruby fruit, whipped cream that’s been gently dosed with a drop of vanilla or almond extract offers another option. Slip a slice of sponge cake or shortbread beneath the berries, and the gates of Heaven might just appear.
Cooks with a little more time might consider creating a strawberry parfait. This dessert is almost as easy and requires just sliced berries, ice cream or pudding, and whipped cream. These three things can be layered into a parfait glass to create a feast for the eye and well as the tongue.
Crepes are a cinch to whip up and always impress. After the batter has been cooked into thin pancakes then rolled with sliced and sugared strawberries, the dessert wants nothing more than a little powdered sugar. Strawberries welcome other fruits to curl up inside the crepes, especially bananas, blueberries, or sliced peaches.
Other incredibly easy and yet utterly elegant strawberry desserts include those that have been dipped in a fondue of chocolate. Melted dark, milk, or white chocolate clings to the strawberries’ seeded skin, glossing it with a smooth, sweet exterior. Serving just two or three fat berries coated in chocolate with a few pecans or pistachios makes a satisfying dessert.
Cooks who love to bake could create a new strawberry dessert a week and not run out of ideas for many, many months. Strawberries perched atop angel food cake makes a low-fat treat, and tucking sliced berries together with pudding or whipped cream between the layers of a stacked cake is decidedly yummy. Cheesecake is transformed by a handful of strawberries into a pink and perfect dessert.
If summer’s long, bright days have faded into winter doldrums, there’s no need for despair. The wise cook remembers to wash, trim, and freeze quarts of strawberries when they are abundant. A handful or two tossed into the blender with a scoop of ice cream yields yet another winner among perfect strawberry desserts.