Strawberries are rich in antioxidants like pelargonidin, procyanidins, ellagitannins, and ellagic acid. Pelargonidin is an anthocyanin and is responsible for the berry’s bright red color. Strawberry anthocyanins have shown antiproliferative action against murine breast cancer cells.
If you can, grow your own strawberries or buy organic, as the porous skin of this berry absorbs insecticides that can’t be washed off. For this reason, they are listed at the top of the “Dirty Dozen” by EWG (Environmental Working Group).
This week’s recipe was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She has been sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.
Coeur à la Crème (Cream Heart)
From: Bon Appétit (February 1980)
- Acidulated water (3 Tbsp lemon juice in 1 quart water)
- ¾ pound large curd cottage cheese
- 1 cup whipping cream
- ¼ pound cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 to 4 Tbsp powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled, for sauce
- 1 Tbsp kirsch
- Strained preserves or jelly (strawberry or red currant jelly are traditional, and should be heated to melting before use. Strained apricot preserves are an option, but may need thinning with water or alcohol before brushing the fruit with a pastry brush)
- 16 small whole strawberries for garnish (hull if garnishing as described below; leave with hulls if placed artfully in one or more groups on the top and/or around the bottom of the heart)
- Dip a large piece of cheesecloth into acidulated water. Wring dry and use to line a 1 quart coeur à la crème mold, allowing a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
- Rub cottage cheese through a food mill or fine strainer (or use a food processor). Using an electric mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks form and set aside. Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, then add cottage cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt; beat again until light and creamy. Gently fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Turn into the prepared mold, smoothing the top. Cover with overhanging cheesecloth. Place the filled mold on a wire rack set over a pie plate. Refrigerate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. The whey will drain, leaving the “heart” of the cheeses.
- Purée hulled strawberries with kirsch and chill. Just before serving, warm preserves and dip whole berries to glaze. To serve, unfold cheesecloth and invert mold onto a flat serving platter; completely remove cheesecloth. Arrange glazed strawberries (pointed bottoms up) along the top edge of the coeur and serve with the sauce.
A coeur à la crème mold is heart-shaped, perforated, and usually porcelain (thus the name, which translates to cream heart).