honey and thyme stewed strawberries with lemon-whipped cream
Today I was craving something sweet but I didn’t feel like baking. It was one of those lazy, open-the-freezer-10-times-hoping-an-ice-cream-cake-appears type cravings. (Happens more than I’m proud of…)
What I did find in the freezer were strawberries I had hulled, halved and frozen a few weeks ago. I also had some heavy cream in the fridge. Strawberries? Cream? Now that I can work with!
for whipped cream:
¾ cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
In a saucepan over medium-low heat add strawberries and orange juice and stew until (if using frozen berries) berries have thawed completely and started to turn soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove strawberries from saucepan and set aside (so they don’t overcook.) To the saucepan liquid, add lemon zest, vanilla, honey, dark rum, and sprigs of thyme and bring to a soft boil. Reduce liquid by half.
Meanwhile, prepare your whipped cream: In a large stainless steel bowl, (I say large because once you get going this stuff can really spatter!) Add your cream, lemon juice and vanilla and start whisking like a maniac. Oddly, I have found that whisking my cream works even faster than an electric hand mixer and you have more control over the overall texture, but maybe that’s just in my head. (Fortunately my whisking skills are much further advanced for cream than for mayonnaise…)
Once your stove-top liquid has reduced by half, remove the sprigs of thyme and spoon your strawberries back into the liquid and let stew for a couple minutes until strawberries have warmed up. Once warm and looking all stew-licious, spoon strawberries into 2 small dishes and spoon enough liquid to almost cover the berries. (Tip: Refrigerate your leftover strawberry liquid and use it later in a fabulous martini!) Top with lemon-whipped cream and garnish with fresh thyme leaves.
Now, I will just acknowledge at this point that you will undoubtedly have tasted the cream. And you will just as undoubtedly have thought, “This tastes way too tart!” And you will be right. But I beg of you, don’t reach for a sweetener to try and ‘save’ it. Be strong. As that lemony whip