Simplest Strawberry Dessert
July 5, 2015
I've been using this idea since the 1970s, but it seems to have gone out of style. In case you don't already know it, here is the very simplest way to serve strawberries.
By the time you're on your second flat of local in-season berries, you might be a bit weary of standing over the sink and stemming berries for the multitudes. Here's how to get your guests to do the work for you.
Quickly wash the berries by putting them in a colander and running cool water over them. Let the water drain out immediately. If they stand in water they will absorb it and become waterlogged. Don't stem them. Chill the rinsed berries until you are ready to use them (they spoil quickly in a hot summer kitchen).
Now, it's time for dessert. Put yogurt (preferably full-fat) in a bowl. In another bowl put brown sugar. Bring out the strawberries. Each diner takes a berry, dips it into the yogurt and then into the brown sugar. And then eats it, discarding the stem. It doesn't get any simpler. This is, of course, a gilding of the lily that is a lovely fresh berry, but a little gilding never hurt anyone (except King Midas's wife or child or whoever it was who turned to gold when he touched her). In short, this is a dead simple, decadent treat.
Variations and Comments:
The original idea called for sour cream, not yogurt. I find full-fat yogurt just as good. You can drain the yogurt for a few hours to thicken it (Greek yogurt is drained yogurt): line a strainer with a dampened tea towel, place it over a bowl, and dump the yogurt in the tea towel. Fold over the corners of the tea towel and let the whey drain off into the bowl. If you are commendably thrifty, save the whey to use in soups or baking.
For a more elegant presentation, give each diner a personal bowl of yogurt and another of brown sugar. This obviates the problem of double-dipping, which is tempting to do with large berries. If you have your own private bowl to dip into, you can double dip without contaminating the common source.