Monday, May 21, 2007
I saw an interesting recipe for a strawberry dessert over at Chez Pim the other day - Strawberries in Hibiscus & Vanilla Syrup. I bookmarked it with a view to try it when Estonian strawberries come in season, which is usually in late June/early July. However, when browsing the Tallinn Central Market on Saturday morning, I saw loads and loads of rather fragrant strawberries imported from Spain. What a heck, I thought, and bought a small box. The recipe was really easy to make, and we enjoyed it with some softly whipped cream, seasoned with vanilla extract.
There's really no need to change or improve Pim's recipe, it's brilliant as it is. I'll add the amounts I used below, but feel free to visit Pim's blog for the original recipe and even more, her home video demonstration. But what I'll tell you is that the hibiscus syrup gives the strawberries a most beautiful deep red colour (see above), without ripping them of the strawberry flavour. I'm so going to make it again, and again, and again, when local strawberries become available..
Hibiscus, by the way, is also known as roselle, red sorrel, karkade and flor de jamaica. Its Latin name is Hibiscus sabdariffa. If you're ever been to Egypt, then you're bound to have a large bag of dried hibiscus somewhere in your cupboard, and this is a great opportunity to use them..
Strawberries in Hibiscus & Vanilla Syrup
Alain Passard's recipe, here adapted from Chez Pim
500 grams strawberries
Hibiscus & vanilla syrup:
500 ml water
100 ml sugar
200 ml dried hibiscus flowers
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
Mix water and sugar in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat, add the hibiscus flowers and let them infuse the syrup until cooled.
Drain, pressing as much liquid as possible out from the hibiscus flowers.
Season the syrup with vanilla extract.
Meanwhile, wash and drain the strawberries, remove the stems and quarter the berries. Put into a wide bowl.
Pour hibiscus syrup over and let the berries macerate in the syrup for about an hour*, refridgerated.
Divide into dessert four glasses, and spoon some softly whipped cream on top. Enjoy!
* We had some strawberries after an hour, and some after three hours. The flavour of the one-hour strawberries was much better, as the berries tend to get a bit too soggy after three hours of soaking (sorry, macerating).
Other strawberry recipes @ Nami-nami:
Strawberry & Hibiscus Sorbet (July 2007)
Strawberry Ricotta Cakes (April 2006)
Strawberry Shrikhand or spiced yogurt with strawberries (October 2005)