July 14, 2013 by Dewi
My Italian take on a staple British dessert: balsamic strawberries with limoncello mascarpone cream.
With the UK enjoying some rare sunshine and high temperatures, I wanted to post a recipe that really hits the nail on the head as far as a British summer desserts go. Whilst watching Andy Murray claim victory at Wimbledon in spectacular style last weekend, I decided to make that most British of summer puds, strawberries and cream. But of course, I was never going to just chuck a few strawberries in a bowl and drown them in plain, boring old cream, I wanted to make something a little more exciting.
So, cue the Italian inspiration. You don’t me need to tell you again how much I adore Italian cooking. The food of the Gods, as far as I’m concerned. With the addition of just a couple of lovely Italian ingredients, I thought I’d try to make a more interesting (and delicious) take on simple strawberries and cream: balsamic marinated strawberries with sweet limoncello mascarpone cream. Sound good? It was!
When you let lovely, ripe British strawberries sit in good balsamic vinegar (I used my recently reviewed Verrini Munari Oro, of course!) the sugar and natural sweetness of the fruit reduces the acidity of the vinegar, so what you get is lovely sweet fruit, and the most amazing, dark and intense syrup imaginable. Pair that with sweet, fresh limoncello cream and you’re left with a rather special, exciting, Italian-inspired British desert, perfect to enjoy out in the sunshine! So go and make it now, because only three things in life are certain: death, taxes and that summer doesn’t last long in the UK.
- 400g Strawberries, stalks removed, halved lengthways
- 3-4 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar (I used Verrini Munari Oro)
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- 200g mascarpone
- 175ml double cream
- 2 tbsp limoncello
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of half a lemon
- Some basil leaves for garnish (optional)
In a large bowl, place the strawberries, 2 tbsp caster sugar and the balsamic vinegar.
Mix well, cover and place in the fridge for 4-10 hours, but no longer than that.
In a separate bowl, beat the mascarpone with 2 tbsp caster sugar until light and fluffy.
Pour in half the cream and whisk until well combined. Add the rest of cream, the limoncello and the lemon zest.
Whisk until the cream forms soft peaks. Keep in the fridge until the strawberries are ready.
When you think the strawberries have had long enough (I think around 6-7 hours is perfect) squeeze in the lemon juice and mix.
To serve, divide the cream between 4 glasses/bowls and top with the strawberries and their amazing syrup, garnish with a couple of basil leaves if you fancy, and enjoy outside in this glorious weather!