We have no idea if this dish comes from France, but its clever simplicity feels utterly French to us. Just take the best-tasting berries you can find and serve them with homemade crème fraîche, which in France is thick and lush naturally soured cream. In the States, we can come within striking distance of the French original by using an organic heavy cream and a sound sour cream. One caution on sour cream: Read the label. It should say “cream and culture,” nothing else.
Let the strawberries “marinate” in the sauce for a couple of hours. Serve with a dollop of the crème fraîche.
1. Make the crème fraîche two days ahead. In a clean jar, shake together the heavy cream and sour cream. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours, or until thickened. Refrigerate for another 24 hours. The cream should be thick and tangy. The longer the cream is chilled the thicker and tangier it becomes.
2. Place the strawberries in a deep bowl. Purée the raspberries with sugar to taste and a pinch of salt. Strain over the strawberries. Cover and chill for a couple of hours.
3. Serve the berries and their sauce in bowls, or serve in individual glasses topped with big dollops of the chilled cream. You could lightly sweeten the crème fraîche with a little sugar, if desired.
From A Summertime Grilling Guide by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. Copyright© 2012 by American Public Media.
Darra Goldstein is editor in chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, an 888-page reference guide to all things sweet. "The book is really a compendium of human desires, a cultural history of desire for things that are sweet and what it has caused in the world, in both the realm of pleasure and also of pain," she says.