You read that right. Balsamic vinegar and strawberries. Trust me on this one. I first had this dish at my aunt’s a few months ago and I’ve been wanting to make it here ever since. It’s not the most frugal of recipes — fresh strawberries and mascarpone cheese are not things you’ll likely to have in your pantry if you’re trying to save money — but the indulgence is definitely worth the splurge.
I snagged this recipe from Epicurious.
Mascarpone is a light (in texture, not content), super-creamy Italian cheese. It is more of a cream cheese than a traditional cheese. It is one of the main ingredients in tiramisu.
You will need:
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp plus 4 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- ½ cup chilled mascarpone cheese
- ½ cup chilled whipping cream
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ quarts (3 pints) of strawberries
In a measuring cup, mix the balsamic vinegar, two teaspoons of the sugar, and the lemon juice.
Place that mixture in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir it frequently until it boils. Let it stay at a boil for about 3 minutes while you stir. The vinegar should reduce a little bit.
Once it’s boiled and reduced a little, take it off the heat, transfer it out of the saucepan, and put it in the fridge to cool while you do the rest.
Grab your strawberries.
Some of these berries were a little past their prime. We bought 2 quarts and after removing all of the not-so-good berries we had about a quart and a half. You can buy pre-sliced strawberries if you like, but by buying them whole you most likely get more for your money, and slicing them yourself kills time while the balsamic mixture cools.
I had some help.
As we sliced, we tossed stems and bad berries into a separate bowl.
Once your berries are all sliced, place them in the fridge as well.
In a medium-sized bowl (big enough for mixing), combine the mascarpone, whipping cream, vanilla extract, and two tablespoons of sugar.
Use a futuristic space-whisk to mix it together. Or just a regular whisk.
Once it’s combined, keep whisking. You want it to eventually form a cream and hold soft peaks. This will take a few minutes if you are mixing manually.
It’s probably only been a few minutes, but you can get your strawberries out again now.
Make sure your balsamic mixture is cool (wait a little longer if it’s not). Mix the strawberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the balsamic mixture. Stir to combine and set the bowl back in the fridge.
Clean as you go.
Let the strawberries sit in the mixture for at least a half hour. Give them a stir every now and then. The longer they marinate, the better they should be, but half an hour should be plenty if you absolutely can’t wait.
Serve the berries with a healthy dollop of the whipped mascarpone cream. Garnish with mint leaves if you have them (I didn’t). You can also drizzle a bit of the balsamic mixture over the top of the cream to add colour.
Enjoy, and try to avoid making this every day! It’s not as healthy as some of my other recipes. And, as always, I apologize for the lack of updates.