Fraîcheur de Fraises, Crème de Normandie

Susan Herrmann Loomis

For the berries in syrup

½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar

¼ cup (60ml) best-quality raspberry vinegar

About 12 oz (400g ) very fresh, sweet strawberries, such as Mara des Bois, stems removed, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch (.65 cm) slices


For the whipped cream

½ cup (125ml) crème fraîche

1 tablespoon vanilla sugar


For the sorbet

14 oz (420g) very fresh, sweet strawberries such as Mara des Bois

2-½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon (15 ml) orange flower water

4 tablespoons (40g) vanilla sugar

2 grinds of medium-coarse black pepper


For the garnish

Fresh mint leaves


  1. Prepare the syrup: In a medium sized bowl, mix the brown sugar and the vinegar. Carefully fold the strawberries into the syrup. Reserve for at least 1 and up to 4 hours, covered, stirring regularly, and very carefully, so the berries are evenly marinated.
  2. In another medium-sized bowl, whisk the crème fraîche with the sugar until it hold soft points. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. Prepare the sorbet: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the strawberries, lemon juice, orange flower water, sugar, and black pepper. Mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined and somewhat foamy. Transfer to a non-reactive bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to overnight. When the mixture is chilled, transfer it to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Hold in the ice cream maker until ready to serve.
  4. To serve, spoon equal amounts of the marinated strawberries into each of 8 champagne flutes. Top with a spoonful of the crème fraîche. Top with equal amounts of the sorbet, then top with the remaining crème fraîche. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of the vinegar syrup from the berries over the top of each parfait, garnish with the mint leaves and serve immediately.

8 servings

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