Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Reverse Strawberry Shortcake
Or.... creamy pudding mousse with macerated berries. To macerate berries means to let them sit [in a little liquid] and develop a bright and delicious softened flavor. You'd be hard-pressed to find many easier desserts.
The summer heat continues....and who wants to bake in this weather if you don't have to? In my quest to find a quick, but delicious, dessert to bring to dinner with the neighbors, I was inspired by a lemon-raspberry version of this in a Rachel Ray book I had perused some days before. The dessert turned out really good--a perfect ending to grilled shish kebabs with the neighbors.
I know the words "dessert" and "healthy" don't usually go hand in hand--and when they do, the result is usually unimpressive. But, at least this one is fat-free!
REVERSE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
1 (5.1 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding
3 cups skim milk
1 carton fat-free whipped topping (like Cool Whip), thawed
1 lb. strawberries (or a little more is even better!), sliced
2-3 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (or orange liquer like Cointreau/Grand Marnier)
*Shortbread-type cookies, preferably thin and with crunch
Mint, for garnish (optional)
In a medium bowl, make the pudding according to the package directions by whisking together the pudding mix with the milk until it thickens (about 2-3 minutes). Fold in the whipped topping and pour into prepared dishes--you can get 6 big servings, or 8 smaller servings out of this recipe. I think martini glasses (as pictured) make for a nice presentation; however, clear plastic cups work out just as great for casual entertaining as they make transport easier, require less clean-up, and there's no fear of breakage.
Chill the puddings for several hours (or overnight).
Gently mix together the strawberries, honey, and lemon juice. Let the berries macerate for at least two hours before assembly.
Right before serving, divide the berries evenly over the pudding cups. Add a couple cookies to each cup or on the side, and garnish with mint (optional).
Makes 6-8 servings.
*Cookies shown are Pepperidge Farm brand "Bordeaux."