It might seem a little strange, but on Mother’s Day I like to make myself a delicious dessert to reward all my efforts. I ponder my dessert for weeks, and don’t take my decision lightly. What is the best thing I can put in my mouth on a day all about me? If you are a mom reading this blog, here’s our perfect recipe. Fresh Strawberry Coeur a la Creme can be our salvation after chalking up another year in the books.
Never heard of it? Me either till a couple months ago. My friend, Melissa, brought it to my attention. Unbeknownst to her, she wasn’t aware of my Ina Garten obsession, so when I heard that’s whose recipe she followed, I knew her over-the-top raves were probably spot on. Her verbatim words were, “It is the most magical thing I have ever put in my mouth.” If that doesn’t seal the deal of something I’m going to try out, I don’t know what is.
When I was contemplating my Mother’s Day dessert, I knew this one was going to take home the prize. Not only does it taste divine, but you don’t actually have to make it on Mother’s Day! It needs to sit overnight in the fridge, so you can whip it up on Saturday when you’re still just regular ol’ mom doing time, instead of Sunday, when you are coveted, pampered mom.
Please don’t run away when you see the word “cheesecloth” in the recipe. The hardest part about this dessert is you have to figure out where the hell they stock cheesecloths at the grocery store. If that sends you over the edge, though, you could substitute paper towels too. It actually takes no time at all to whip together, and is so easy to make. Voilá! You have a little present for yourself waiting for you on your celebrated day.
Since Mother’s Day actually isn’t all about me, but honoring the one who put up with me too, I thought I’d salute my mom, Linda, by letting her know all the ways I have slowly and surely morphed into her…
- I now make her scrunchy side lip face. When someone asks us something we don’t have an immediate response to, our lips automatically purse together and scootch to the side. I always know when I’m doing it because Ryan will call me Linda and mimic the face.
- We both emit the same radioactive “mom heat.” Mom heat is very comforting when you are sick or don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, and I remember it vividly from when I was little.
- I now put off going to the bathroom for hours on end, just like she used to do. I remember my mom finally breaking down and yelling out, “Just give me a minute to go the bathroom!” when she couldn’t hold it any longer. I find it easier to finally give in rather than dealing with changing my pants and doing another load of laundry.
- We both love to read to small people. My mom was a children’s librarian for 30 years, and her favorite thing to do is sit on the couch and read to grandkids. This is hands down one of my favorite things to do with my kids too. I love hearing their cute, little observations about the story while they’re snuggled up next to me. I can also take big whiffs of their kid smell and stroke their soft skin like a lap dog.
Unfortunately I did not inherit these Linda characteristics, and probably will never live up to how she…
- Cooks for obscene numbers of people without breaking a sweat. She can whip out a meal for 50 like nobody’s business, and continues to invite more people over until the moment we are sitting down to eat.
- Says yes to anything and anyone. It doesn’t matter what you ask of her, the answer is always “yes,” no matter how much potential it has to complicate her life. Her generous “yeses” have yielded a double booking of grandkid babysitting gigs (often in two different states) on more than a few occasions. So I’ve learned to cross-reference with other siblings, and make sure she actually can / wants to do whatever is asked of her.
- Never worries about logistics. She will call me up to tell me she booked a 2 bedroom / 1 bath vacation house. She will then call the remaining five siblings, their spouses, and 18 grandkids to invite them to stay at the same house also. These phone calls also require some cross-referencing with siblings.
- Nothing phases her. She cooks more than anyone in the family and her kitchen is a nightmare. The dishwasher doesn’t open all the way, every drawer you open immediately falls out if it’s extended more than 3 inches, and when you open the pantry 5 boxes of crackers will catapult onto your head. I feel like I’m the show Boiling Point anytime I have to cook in there, but she just laughs and says she’d rather spend her money on traveling (mostly to go babysit grandkids).
I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.
Fresh Strawberry Coeur a la Creme
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 ½ cups cold heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, (or 3 tsp. vanilla extract)
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- fresh strawberries, for serving
Fresh Strawberry Grand Marnier Sauce:
- 8 ounces fresh or frozen strawberries, stems removed and cut in half
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup strawberry jam
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, optional
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or large bowl with hand mixer, place the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat on high for 2 minutes.
- Scrape down bowl and change to a whisk attachment. Add heavy cream, vanilla paste or extract, and lemon zest. Mix on low until well combined. Increase mixer to high and beat until the mixture is very thick, like whipped cream.
- While the coeur a la creme is refrigerating, make strawberry sauce so it has time to cool and chill.
- Discard any liquid that has drained from the coeur a la creme. Remove mold from strainer and turn onto a serving platter, flat side down. Use a rubber spatula to gently smooth out any indentations in the mold. Drizzle the strawberry sauce around the base of the platter and some over top, reserving some for serving. Garnish with fresh strawberries.
- Place the 8 ounces of strawberries, sugar, and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat, and simmer until the strawberries are soft, about 7-8 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add strawberry jam and optional Gran Marnier to pan. Use an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender or food processor, to process the sauce until smooth. Cool and then transfer to an airtight container to chill until ready for use. Makes 1 1/2 cups strawberry sauce.
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For another delicious fresh strawberry dessert, try Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake!