Beat the heat with our week-long series on simple frozen treats!
Chances are, if you dropped by for dessert on one of these warm July evenings, we’d share roasted strawberry sundaes together out on the back patio. It’s our preferred dessert this month because it’s simple, seasonal, and sensational – just the way I love to cook and eat.
This month I’ve put up strawberries in the freezer, made a dozen jars of Honey Strawberry Jam, and even brewed a pint of strawberry-infused vodka, but for everyday enjoyment, I keep a jar of slow-roasted strawberries on hand. They are just so incredible.
Baking berries? Yes, indeed. Last summer we slow-roasted cherry tomatoes and couldn’t stop eating them; now we’re giving strawberries the same treatment and the result is just as addicting.
Roasted Strawberries For The Win
Sure a regular homemade strawberry sundae is great; you’ve got your sliced strawberries and a fresh berry coulis (sauce), but unless the berries are exceptional, it can be forgettable.
All talk around the table ceases when the first spoonful of roasted strawberry sundae is sampled. The berries hold their shape well in the oven and their intense flavor explodes on the tongue, sweeter than ever, thanks to the slow-roasting process.
The juice from the berries reduces in the oven to become a thick sauce, enhanced only with a touch of sugar, a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of pepper. It is dark and sweet, with a pungent perfume.
We’re spooning our roasted berries over vanilla ice cream, but they would also make a pretty fine topping for cheesecake, rice pudding, panacotta or yogurt parfaits. They are also fantastic just eaten from the jar with a spoon.
- 2 1/2 lbs small fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup demerara sugar (or white sugar)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 225°F. Wash, drain and hull strawberries.
- Divide berries between two baking sheets (I lined mine with parchment paper for easier clean-up) and spread them out so they are just one layer thick. Place in the oven and slow-roast for 45 minutes. Strawberries will not release much juice during this part.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle two tablespoons of sugar onto each pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and stir gently. Return pans to oven and roast about 30 minutes more.
- Remove pans from oven and allow to cool for at least ten minutes. Strawberries will release more juice during this resting period. Transfer to a bowl or jar and use a spatula to scrape all of the sauce from the pan. Enjoy warm, or refrigerate until ready to use.
What is your favorite sundae topping?