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Strawberry Creams Recipe & Video

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Our patterns of eating often change with the seasons. The desserts that are perfect in the middle of winter, somehow seem out of place during the hot summer months. So what I often do on hot summer days is make light and fruity gelatin based desserts. Take, for example, this beautiful parfait which layers a ruby red raspberry jelly with a strawberry Bavarian cream. While both layers start with sweetened fruit purees, the raspberry jelly just adds unflavored gelatin to a raspberry puree, while the strawberry cream first adds buttermilk and cream to a strawberry puree and then sets this mixture with unflavored gelatin.

The important thing to remember when making any layered gelatin dessert is that each layer must be allowed to set before you add the next layer. This keeps each layer separate and helps to prevent one layer from bleeding too much into the other. 

There are two types of gelatin that can be used, unflavored powdered gelatin and leaf gelatin. For practical purposes, though, I have used powdered gelatin as leaf gelatin can be hard to find by in North America, save ordering it. Powdered unflavored gelatin is sold in the baking section of grocery stores and is packaged in small boxes which hold four - 1/4 ounce (7 grams) (one scant tablespoon) paper envelopes of powdered gelatin. Unflavored gelatin is tiny granules that are tasteless, colorless, and odorless. It is used as a thickening agent but only becomes active when dissolved in hot water. To use gelatin you first need to sprinkle it over a cold liquid so the gelatin softens, swells and becomes spongy. The softened gelatin then needs to be warmed so the granules completely dissolve and the proteins become activated. To check to see if the gelatin has completely dissolved, dip a spoon into the gelatin and check to see that all the crystals have melted.

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Strawberry Cream:  Place the thawed strawberries, sugar, buttermilk, and cream in your food processor and process until very smooth. (Taste and add more sugar, if needed.) Transfer this mixture to a medium sized saucepan and bring just to a boil, stirring constantly.

Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup (60 ml) of cold water. Let this mixture sit for 5 - 10 minutes or until it has softened, swelled, and become spongy. Then stir the softened gelatin into the heated strawberry cream and continue stirring until the gelatin particles have completely dissolved. Let the cream cool slightly and then evenly pour the mixture into 4 - 8 ounce (225 ml) glasses, custard cups, or ramekins. (Make sure to leave enough space in each glass for about 1/4 cup (60 ml) of raspberry jelly.) Place in the refrigerator and chill until the cream has set, between 2 to 4 hours.

Raspberry Jelly:  Put the frozen raspberries and sugar in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Cover the bowl with a piece of aluminum foil and heat the berries, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the berries are soft and have released their juices. Then, remove the berries from the heat and gently press them through a fine meshed strainer suspended over a large measuring cup. All that should be left in the strainer is raspberry seeds. You will need about 1 cup (240 ml) of raspberry juice so add water, if necessary, to get this amount. Then pour the raspberry juice into a small saucepan and heat until hot, stirring constantly.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl soften the gelatin in about 2 tablespoons of cold water. Let this mixture sit for 5 - 10 minutes or until it has softened, swelled, and become spongy. Stir the softened gelatin into the heated raspberry juice until the gelatin particles have completely dissolved. Let the raspberry jelly cool slightly and then pour, an equal amount, over each chilled strawberry cream. Refrigerate for about 2 - 4 hours or until set. If desired, serve the Strawberry Creams with a dollop of softly whipped cream.

Makes 4 - one cup (240 ml) servings.

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Strawberry Cream:

1 pound (450 grams) fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries, thawed

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk

1/4 cup (60 ml) cream (can use either a heavy or light cream)

1 - 1/4 ounce package (7 grams) unflavored powdered gelatin

1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water

Raspberry Jelly:

1 - 12 ounce (340 grams) bag of frozen unsweetened raspberries

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon (3 grams) unflavored powdered gelatin

2 tablespoons cold water

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