STRAWBERRIES WITH WHITE CUSTARD CREAM

If you’ve been following my blog, you know about my love of vintage cookbooks. I was recently in Bonnie Slotnick’s East Village store, rummaging through piles of books, when Bonnie mentioned in passing, “Oh, but you already have the Pepperidge Farm Cookbook.”

Actually, I didn’t, but apparently this is such a classic, Bonnie assumed it had been lining my bookshelf for years. I snatched up a copy immediately and began searching through the recipes. The format is autobiographical, covering Margaret Rudkin’s recipes from her childhood, to her time on the farm (Pepperidge Farm is a real place, like Hidden Valley and Tollhouse), to her Irish heritage, to her collection of antique cookbooks. I found this recipe and was fascinated by the white custard cream. We so rarely use “boiled icings” in modern recipes, but I love their silky texture and incredible stability. These components make a wonderful dessert on their own, or could be used for a delicious layer cake or eton mess. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS (STRAWBERRIES)

1 quart strawberries, quartered

1/2 cup strawberry jam

2 tablespoons grand marnier

INGREDIENTS (CREAM) 

1 cup heavy cream, divided

1 tablespoon sugar

2 egg whites

1 teaspoon of vanilla

DIRECTIONS

Combine all of the strawberry ingredients in a bowl, stir gently to combine, cover, and place in the fridge for a few hours.

For the white custard cream, combine 1/2 cup cream with 1 tablespoon sugar in a double boiler over medium heat. Bring to barely a simmer. In another bowl, combine 2 egg whites and the remaining 1/2 cup cream, beating to just combine. Add a little hot cream mixture to temper the eggs, stirring to combine, then combine everything in the double boiler over heat. Whip for 4 minutes (or more) until thickened (not quite soft peaks, almost like a loose mayonnaise texture). Take off heat, whip to soft peaks, add a teaspoon of vanilla, and pour into a jar and put in the fridge to chill.

To serve, put a scoop of the strawberries in the bottom of a jar, and top with the cream. The result is gorgeously simple, and would be divine with sponge cake or biscuits for a quick strawberry shortcake idea.