With strawberries at such a luscious peak, I was finally able to try out this recipe that I’ve been eying for a few months. By reducing some of the juices on the stove-top to concentrate the strawberry flavor, it definitely packs a strong strawberry punch. While I did not get the mousse like texture that I was expecting; my son said it was more like a smoothie; it was undeniably delicious. 4-stars as mousse, but 5-stars as an un-named dessert.
- The only mistake I made in the recipe was that I added the softened gelatin to the main bowl instead of to the saucepan in Step 5. There is some chance that the lack of heat meant that the gelatin didn’t evenly distribute to the mousse, causing my textural problem. I will definitely make it again, and update this post (and rating) if that was truly the cause.
- There were no solids left in the strainer in Step 6; only seeds.
- The dessert takes about 1h15m to make, but more than half of that time is waiting. I use that time as an excuse to relax.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess? Medium.
Start time 12:30 PM. Dinner time 6 PM.
Here is the original Cook’s Illustrated link to for this recipe. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today is as follows:
2 pounds strawberries
1-3/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
- Cut cream cheese into 8 pieces and allow to soften on the counter-top.
- Wash and hull all the strawberries replacing back in plastic containers. For garnishing, dice enough strawberries into 1/4″ dice to yield 1 cup (5-1/4 ounces). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In two batches (three batches if your food processor is on the smaller side), pulse remaining strawberries 6 to 8 times until 1/4″ to 1/2″ pieces; some pieces will be larger than others. Empty strawberries into a medium bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Cover bowl and allow to stand at room temperature for 45 minutes; stir occasionally. Do NOT clean food processor.
- Strain the strawberries through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl, within 1 minute you should have rendered 2/3 cup of juice. Measure out 3 tablespoons juice into a separate small bowl and sprinkle with 1-3/4 teaspoons gelatin. Allow gelatin to soften for 5 minutes.
- Put remaining juice into a small saucepan and reduce over medium-higher burner for 10 minutes, until it measures just 3 tablespoons. Remove from heat and add the softened gelatin mixture, stirring until dissolved. Add softened cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Empty into large bowl.
- Meanwhile while the juice is reducing, process fruit in food processor for 15 to 20 seconds until smooth. Again, strain the puree though your fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing down on the solids with a spatula. You should have 1-2/3 cup of puree. Add the puree to the juice/gelatin mixture and whisk together until combined. Discard the solids from the strainer.
- Use a standing mixer to whisk cream for 1 minute on medium/low until foamy. Increase to high and whip until soft peaks (2 to 3 minutes), then gradually ass 1/4 sugar and whip until stiff peaks (about 1 to 2 more minutes).
- Whisk cream into strawberry mixture until there are no more white steaks. Portion into individual serving bowls and chill for at least 4 hours (up to 48 hours).
- Garnish with diced strawberries and serve.