Monday, April 25, 2011

A Special Spring Dessert

This pretty and pink dessert was lovingly made for my mother-in-laws' birthday a few weeks ago. I don't think she'd appreciate me telling you how old she turned, so I won't :-) But I can say she is as sophisticated as this dessert looks. The moment I saw this recipe on Coleen's Recipes, I knew I'd be making it for her birthday. It's light and refreshing and it has my MIL's name written all over it. Even the name- Strawberry Chantilly- sounds like her. I guess you'd have to know her to know that, so just take my word for it. If you're looking for something unique and different, this is the dessert for you.

I keep calling this a dessert, and not a pie or cake, or something else, because that's what it is. It's almost like a mousse, because it has whipped cream folded into it, but it's light and fluffy from the meringue as well. It's a frozen treat that can be made in a 9x13-inch pan or in a springform pan as I have done. I got that idea from Coleen, and I think it makes for a prettier presentation. It's cool and creamy, sweet and bursting with strawberry flavor. All the while, contrasting with the buttery and nutty shortbread crust. If you're not a fan of nuts, you could leave them out. It slices nicely straight from the freezer too. If it's too hard, just let it rest on the counter for a few minutes.

One of the best things about this dessert, other than the taste, is how quickly it comes together. You dump the ingredients in the mixer and let it do all the work for you. This would be a great make ahead dessert for dinner parties, or for Mother's Day (May 8th), leaving you with more time to spend with your guests and loved ones. A simple garnish of fresh strawberries or plump berries dunked in dark chocolate compliment this nicely and make it extra special. Now that I think of it, I think almonds in place of the pecans and raspberries instead of strawberries would be just as lovely.

Strawberry Chantilly slightly adapted from Coleen's Recipes

For the Crust:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

For the Filling:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 drops red food coloring, optional

For the crust: Cut the cold butter into the flour and sugar until crumbly, then stir in the chopped pecans. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish and bake at 300 for 20 minutes (or press mixture into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a springform pan and bake at 325 for 25 minutes). Set the pan on a rack to cool completely before filling with strawberry chantilly. I put mine in the refrigerator to cool faster while I made the filling.

For the Filling: Pulse the strawberries in a food processor til mostly pureed but still a little lumpy. Place the pureed strawberries, the egg whites, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl of your electric stand mixer. Beat on high for ten minutes. Add food coloring, if using, and mix for a few more seconds till the color is fully incorporated.

In a different bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until you get stiff peaks. Gently fold, by hand, the whipped cream into the strawberry meringue mixture.

Pour the filling into the baked and cooled crust and cover well. Freeze for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Slice and serve frozen chantilly with additional strawberries, if desired.

Happy Birthday Nonie!

40 comments:

Elizabeth and Jared said...

This is beautiful! You are very talented. I bet it tasted so full of life! Stunning strawberries and photos!

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Oh that looks fab!

ButterYum said...

I couldn't have done a better job myself. Stunning, really!!

:)
ButterYum

Katie said...

What a pretty colour. It sounds wonderfully cool, light and refreshing

warmvanillasugar said...

Amazing! I love the chocolate strawberries on top, they really make this pretty :)

girlichef said...

Oh, it is definitely gorgeous and charming and sophisticated. And the perfect thing to do with Spring strawberries. :D

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

This looks wonderful.How are you doing?

Debbie said...

This looks wonderful Monica! I also saw this on Coleen's site and my latest recipe is also from her!!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Oh my goodness, I have plans for this dessert!!! Yum! Thanks for posting -- I hope you're doing well!

Jess said...

This sounds so springy and yummy! What are the little pockets of white??

Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer said...

So pretty. It look so good and reminds me of those yummy Good Humor bars you can get at the gas stations and ice cream trucks, called strawberry shortcake right??? Those were always what I got from the ice cream man so I must make this :) Love the Pecans in the crust and simplicity too.

Cassie said...

That looks absolutely delicious! What a perfect, refreshing treat for spring and summer, Monica!

SnoWhite said...

Strawberries are the perfect spring fruit, aren't they!? That looks delicious.

Heather of Kitchen Concoctions said...

Oh this looks and sounds so lovely. I have been craving chilled desserts since it has been so hot here lately. This is perfect since strawberries are in season right now!

Kathleen said...

This looks absolutely lovely and delicious too. I love Coleen's blog! She always has recipes I want to try. You did a beautiful job on this dessert!

Monica H said...

Jess- The little pockets of white are whipped cream. I folded them into the meringue mixture but didn't want to overbeat it, and a few bits were left unmixed. Doesn't affect the taste at all- still delicious!

Natasha- I loved those Strawberry Shortcake bars- in fact I bought one the other day and it didn't taste nearly as good as I remembered as a kid. This dessert was awesome though.

~Monica

Maranda said...

I am a complete sucker for just about anything strawberry. This looks and sounds amazing! Happy birthday to your MIL!

Jennifurla said...

I just love the texture & color, gorgeous.

bellini said...

It does sound elegant and a perfect tribute to MIL and Spring!

Jean Badgley said...

YUM...thanks for this...I really like how you suggest we could make ahead and keep in the freezer. I love those kind plan ahead treats..looks delicious.

Coleen's Recipes said...

What a BEAUTIFUL presentation!!! I love it in the springform pan and I want to try individual's too (if I can find the right dish). LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the chocolate covered strawberry topping.

Becca said...

Wow, this looks beautiful and so elegant. I'm sure my mom would love this for Mother's Day!

Ingrid said...

Were you thinking of me when you said raspberries & almonds would be good?! :)Cause I would agree!! :) My mom would as well.
~ingrid

natalia said...

Ciao Monica ! I think your description of this dessert along with the fabulous photos really made me want it NOW !

Susan said...

LOVE LOVE this - so beautiful - plus it is light! Lucky Mother in Law!

Susan www.ugogrrl.com

Souffle Bombay (Colleen) said...

A beautiful cake! Looks refreshing and I am sure she loved it!

RSA Now said...

I love it better than cake!

Kerstin said...

What a lovely dessert and lucky MIL you have! I love the chocolate covered strawberries on top too.

Maggie said...

Looks and sounds delicious. You have a lovely blog with lots of good stuff. Thank you for sharing ☺

A Feast for the Eyes said...

LOL. I saw this on Colleen's blog and I bookmarked it. We do love our strawberries! As always, you made this dessert look like art.
PS: Will text you later. Thanks for the recipe! Life is nuts here!

Emily said...

Very Elegant!

Couture Cupcake said...

That looks So yummy!! I love your blog!! I would love for you to come see mine! :)
http://stuffitwithacupcake.blogspot.com/

tapping technique said...

My sweet tooth is getting the best of me! I want this cake!

EFT children said...

I love strawberries! And in cakes and pastries, the more I love them!

Jose A. said...

This is so pretty. I'd call it a dessert too. Sounds like it'd be so nice for a summer party too. Can't wait to go berry picking!

Sophie said...

Woops! Sorry, my husband was using my computer recently when his laptop was getting fixed. That's his blogger profile above >.< sorry about that...it's really me, Sophie :).

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

I love recipes with that kind of crust and this is so pretty! She was very lucky to have this made for her birthday...yum!

Healthy and Homemade said...

WOW this is gorgeous and sounds soooo omg delicious =)

Lissaloo said...

Delicious! I am trying to figure out when the earliest "special" occasion is so that I can make this, it looks so good!!

Jessy said...

Hi there! My daughter would like to have this for her birthday but we have friends who are allergic to nuts so I was wondering if you could recommend a substitute for the crust.

Thanks!

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