balsamic strawberries

Balsamic Strawberries

Balsamic strawberries with lemon creme fraiche are one of my current favorite desserts for two reasons. First, it’s delicious. Second, it’s fast and easy to make with only four ingredients.

Years ago I found a recipe for balsamic strawberries that used two pans and took an hour to prepare. After traditional balsamic was reduced by whisking it over medium heat for 20 minutes and sugar was carmalized in a second pan, the cooking continued with those two ingredients plus water to make a tasty sauce (and a splattered mess). When I found Venice Olive Oil‘s Molto Denissimo Balsamic, prep time for this recipe went from 60 minutes to 5. The most time-consuming task in this current version is rinsing and slicing the strawberries.

What’s Molto Denissimo?  According to Venice Olive Oil, this “exquisite and exceedingly rare 1.36 density balsamic is extremely complex boasting flavor notes of cherry wood, dried fruits, raisins, figs, along with hints of dark chocolate and malt.” It’s thicker than a traditional balsamic, almost like a balsamic reduction. If you don’t have Molto Denissimo, you can make a balsamic reduction. See optional directions below.

Active time: 5 minutes Total time: 5 minutes

Specialized One-Butt Utensils

  • Nothing special for this one

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, stems removed and halved or quartered to bite-size
  • 2 tbsp Molto Denissimo Balsamic (or balsamic reduction), plus more to drizzle on strawberries just before serving
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 cup lemon curd (I use Dickinson’s Lemon Curd, available in the jams and jellies sections at most grocery stores.)
strawberry ingredients
In addition to strawberries, the ingredients for this easy dessert are creme fraiche, Molto Denissimo, and lemon curd.

Directions

Place prepared strawberries in a bowl. Add balsamic and stir to coat. Let sit at room temperature until ready to serve, up to 3 hours. The balsamic will get thinner as the strawberries sit in it.

Using a fork, whisk creme fraiche and lemon curd together in a separate bowl until smooth.

Divide the strawberries between serving bowls. Drizzle additional balsamic on strawberries just before serving. Top with a dollop of lemon crème fraiche.

Optional directions for Balsamic Reduction

While my original balsamic strawberries recipe added carmelized sugar for sweetener, I’ve made balsamic reductions for other purposes that used no sweetener at all. Some recipes call for brown sugar, maple syrup or honey. It all depends on the balsamic’s flavor and your personal preference.  Taste your balsamic to see if you want it to be sweeter. If so, add your choice of sweetener to the balsamic prior to cooking.

Active time: 20 minutes Total time: 40 minutes

Specialized One-Butt Utensils

  • Nothing special for this one

Makes 1/2 to 1 Cup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups traditional balsamic vinegar
  • brown sugar, maple syrup or honey, added a little at a time until the desired sweetness is achieved (optional)

Start with a good quality traditional balsamic vinegar. Since you have to invest at least 40 minutes in making it, I recommend you make extra and save it for other uses. Here are some other recipes that use Molto Denissimo or balsamic reductions:

Pour 2 cups balsamic vinegar into a pan.  Add a sweetener if desired, a little at a time until desired sweetness is achieved. Turn heat to medium heat. After it comes to a gentle boil, reduce heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally to prevent burning as it simmers for about 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the liquid has been reduced by half and it coats the back of your spoon. Remove from heat and allow it to cool (15 to 20 minutes) before pouring over strawberries. The balsamic will thicken slightly as it cools.

Cooking time may be less if a sweetener is used.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

  1. OK. I have a stupid question. What is creme fraiche?

     
    • Mary Zalmanek

      Good question. Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation: “Crème fraîche … is a dairy product, a soured cream containing 10–45% butterfat, with a pH of approximately 4.5… It is served over fruit and baked goods, as well as being added to soups and sauces. It is used in a variety of other recipes. Sour cream is a similar foodstuff, except that crème fraîche is less sour and has a higher fat content.” You can ususally find it in the dairy section or the deli of most supermarkets.

       
  2. Marylin Warner

    Thanks for asking, Barbara. I had the same question.
    The end result looks delicious.

     
  3. OK. Here’s my lazy cook, couldn’t-find-it-at-my-grocery-store list of ingredients.
    1 lb organic strawberries
    2 Tbsp balsamic reduction (they sell it at King Soopers)
    4 oz Smucker’s Simply Fruit Strawberry (contains lemon juice)
    4 oz sour cream
    It came out pretty well.

     

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