Strawberries Romanoff

Strawberries Romanov, a traditional French dessert, is an excellent way to enjoy fresh summer strawberries. There are just a few, simple ingredients in this sweet dish, but it is certainly a company pleaser. From Chef Jacques of

Serves 6

2 pints strawberries, washed and stemmed
1/4 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar
1/2 cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau
2 cups creme anglaise, vanilla custard sauce

Vanilla Custard Sauce
Creme Anglaise
2 cups milk
1 cup evaporated cane juice, or sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon lemon rind
1/2 vanilla bean split, or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy whipping cream


Custard Sauce:

1.Combine the milk, sugar, orange and lemon rind, and split vanilla bean in a heavy copper or stainless steel saucepan. Scald the milk and remove from flame. Strain the milk to remove the vanilla bean and citrus rinds.

2.Separate the eggs. Reserve the whites for another recipe, (they may be frozen). Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Slowly pour the hot milk into the beaten yolks, whisking constantly.

3.Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan. Cook over very low direct heat or simmering water, stirring constantly with a spoon or spatula until the custard just begins to boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour in the heavy cream. (If you are using vanilla extract, add it at this point.) Cool and refrigerate.

HINT: Our method of making custard sauce differs from others who caution, “do not boil.”


1.Slice the strawberries. In a large bowl, toss them with the sugar and 1/4 cup orange liqueur. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to macerate.

2.Season the chilled vanilla custard sauce with 1/4 cup orange liqueur.

3.Distribute the macerated strawberries among 6 chilled serving bowls. Divide and pour the prepared vanilla custard sauce over the strawberries and serve.

4.Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.

Reprinted with permission from Chef Jacques Haeringer at of Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia. Best French restaurant around.

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