Elegant Strawberry Desserts You'll Want to Show Off At Your Next Spring Event
Nothing says springtime like the season's luscious berries. Let dazzling strawberries take the stage, and we promise they won't disappoint.
April 24, 2018
1 of 20Greg DuPree
Strawberry, Basil, and Balsamic “Slablova”
Inspired by a pavlova-for-a-crowd “slablova” recipe on Food52, we created our own Passover version of the fruit-topped dessert. The meringue slowly bakes to achieve a crackly crust and an irresistibly soft, melt-in-your-mouth interior texture somewhere between a marshmallow and angel food cake. We like the look of white balsamic in the berry topping, but red balsamic will taste just as delicious (it will just have a darker color). Though potato starch is a common go-to for Passover baked goods, we did not have good success with it here; tapioca starch works better. For a non-Passover occasion, cornstarch or arrowroot starch makes a beautiful pavlova
Chef Khalil Hymore introduced us to the idea of a crunchy quinoa crust with a savory tart he developed for us; we take the notion to a sweet place here. The tart holds well overnight, so make it the day before, and serve chilled right from the refrigerator.
In Bordeaux, where châteaus and vineyards abound, a typical dessert is fresh strawberries sliced into a red wine glass and then topped with a great Bordeaux. Here, that regional tradition is adapted to make it more dessert-like. If you're pressed for time, do as the Bordelais do—quick and easy.
The key to the dish's dramatic puff comes from oven spring—the jolt of steam and heat the batter gets when it's poured into the sizzling-hot pan and then goes straight into a cranked-up oven. Make the strawberry mixture first so the fruit has time to macerate and get even juicier.
For your next special occasion, make this beautiful, seasonal dessert that's basically Champagne in a bowl. Unlike some classic gelatin desserts, this one—relying on a high-quality sparkler—is quite elegant. You can cut the set gelée into a crosshatch pattern for small cubes that "look like sparkly diamonds in the bowl," says Elisabeth Prueitt, co-founder of Tartine Bakery & Cafe and Tartine Manufactory in San Francisco and co-author of Tartine.
If you have a minute to spare, swap the vanilla extract for a vanilla bean. Split the bean lengthwise, scrape half of the seeds into the shortcake recipe, and whip the remaining half into the yogurt cream. It will add an extra level of flavor-packed intensity to the recipe.
Strawberry-Topped Pavlovas with Honey-Balsamic Sauce
The components of this dessert can be prepared in stages and assembled shortly before serving. Store meringues in an airtight container at room temperature up to one week; refrigerate strawberries and sauce for up to two days. Garnish with mint.