Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. Today, Emma of My Darling Lemon Thyme shares her recipe for marinated strawberries with vanilla whipped cream. Wouldn’t it be a lovely way to end a summer dinner party? Here’s the (easy) way to whip it up…

Strawberries and Cream
By Emma Galloway of My Darling Lemon Thyme

As a kid I loved nothing more than a bowlful of berries and freshly whipped cream. The sight of my mother’s electric hand beater (which is well over 30 years old!) would always bring a burst of excitement as I stood next to her in the kitchen waiting to lick the beater.

We didn’t eat cream all that often growing up and still don’t (as we are mildly lactose intolerant!), but on the odd occasion when we do eat it, it’s savored just as much as when I was little, all those years ago. (Don’t tell my kids, but I always lick the beaters when they are not looking!)

Nowadays I sweeten the berries slightly, sometimes with unrefined cane sugar, other times with a lick of maple syrup, adding in a touch of orange to bring a gentle tang. Leaving them to sit for a good half hour brings out the beautiful natural juices of the fruit and allows the orange zest time to mingle and do its thing. I then leave the cream un-sweetened, adding just a touch of vanilla to bring that beautiful memory-inducing perfume to the mix.

Recipe: Strawberries and Cream
Serves 4

What you’ll need:

(For the marinated strawberries)
1 lb strawberries, hulled and cut in half
2 tbsp. unrefined cane sugar or pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

(For the fresh vanilla cream)
5 fl oz (1/4 pint) heavy cream, chilled
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or the scraped seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean pod
Place the halved strawberries into a medium-sized bowl. Add sugar or maple syrup, orange zest and juice and stir well to combine. Set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinate, stirring a couple of times during that 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place cream and vanilla into a large bowl and whip using a balloon whisk or electric beaters until soft peaks form.

Serve berries and their juices in bowls with a generous dollop of vanilla cream on top.

Note: To make this dairy-free/vegan, you can use whipped coconut cream in place of the whipped vanilla cream. A little lime zest and juice in place of the orange makes for a lovely change, or you can leave out the orange zest and juice altogether and add a splash of rosewater for an exotic twist.

Thank you, Emma!

(Photos and recipe by Emma Galloway of My Darling Lemon Thyme. Thanks to Caroline Donofrio for her help with this series.)

P.S. More best recipes, including salted caramel brownies and homemade tiramisu.