strawberry fields forever

preparing the strawberries

While I possess a tendency to be always on time when it comes to appointments, I am a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to life matters. I was indifferent to boys and dating well until high school, and last year was the year I realized I actually liked jewelry, proving to my mother once and for all that I was, indeed, female. But of all the “lateˮ things I’ve arrived to in my life, none has been more befuddling to my friends than my utter indifference to sweets and dessert.

But a few months ago, the dessert bug bit and now, I can’t leave a restaurant without picking something from the dessert menu and and often wishing my entire meal would consist of mille feuilles and molten chocolate cakes. So of course, it was probably a bad sign, when I purchased David Lebovitz’ newest book less than a month ago and have already made three recipes from it – two frozen yogurts and a sorbet. We’re in trouble now!!

the interminable wait

I wanted to make a frozen treat for my book club friends. The book club deal consists of monthly meetings, where we take turns hosting dinner at one of the members’ apartments. The idea is that if you host, you cook dinner for your friends and then dish about life and chat about the book.

Because my first time hosting, a few months ago, took place at my old apartment, and I had just started a new job, I ordered take-out because I did not have the space, nor the time to cook a proper meal for five people. Being that I’m the only one of the group with a blog, and a food blog too, ordering take-out seemed like a failure of some sort, and I have been feeling tinges of guilt ever since. This time, however, I wanted to go all out – make a delectable dinner and provide a lovely dessert to finish off the meal.

preparing the strawberries

I was on a mission to wow, and decided upon making a strawberry frozen yogurt. What’s better than a homemade frozen treat on a summer day? The way strawberries taste right now is something magical and I can tell I am going to be one grumpy girl when they go back to being bland again for the rest of the year. For the moment though, the strawberries possess the kind of sweetness and flavor I have a hard time putting into words, but the taste sinfully good. Strawberries, when at their peak, are lush, sensual, almost-illicit. I don’t mean to over-sensualize a single berry, but to me the strawberry, and not the apple, seemed to be a more sinful fruit.

I followed David’s recipe pretty faithfully, with one exception – instead of kirsch, I substituted cassis liqueur, because that was all we had in the pantry. The results were still sublime. If I didn’t have to serve it the next day, I would have greedily consumed the entire batch myself. But I couldn’t and I didn’t. Instead, I gave a small sampling to KS minutes before the girls came over, and though he always compliments me (as he knows on which side his bread is buttered), the highest praise was when he sheepishly asked me to save him some frozen yogurt and not serve all to the book club ladies. And how could I have refused him?

the little magic-maker!

This is something magical, I swear to you. It has a feel more of sorbet than frozen yogurt, consistency wise. Not to mention its heavenly taste and the fact that it’s so good for you – considering there’s but a cup of plain yogurt, some sugar and the rest is pureed strawberries. How can anyone refuse?

Ingredients:
1 lb fresh strawberries, rinse and hulled
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp cassis liqueur (optional)
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions:
Slice the straberries into small pieces. Toss in a bowl with the sugar and cassis, if using, stirring until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring every so often.

Puree the strawberries and their liquid iwht the yogurt and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until smooth. If you wish, press the mixture through a mess strainer to remove any seeds. I didn’t because I’m a fan of those little guys and I’m convinced they’re good for you, somehow.

Refrigerate your mixture for 1 hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I served these with those Petit Ecolier cookies – and it was a hit!! Nothing like a little chocolate-covered buiscuit for your strawberry frozen yogurt!

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