French Strawberry and Vanilla Charlotte Dessert
This classic French Strawberry Charlotte is a showstopper of a dessert and so easy to make. It's the perfect treat for a summer lunch or dinner.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 2pints strawberries (cleaned and hulled )
- 2tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1teaspoon lemon juice
- 1(7-ounce) package ladyfingers
- Optional: 1 pint other fresh seasonal berries
- For the Pastry Cream:
- 3 ¼cups whole milk
- 9egg yolks (keep the whites for meringue)
- ¾cup granulated sugar
- ⅓cup all-purpose flour
- ¼cup cornstarch
- 2teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Step 1Gather the ingredients.
Step 2Toss the hulled strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice and allow them to marinate in the refrigerator for anything up to 24 hours. The fruit will give up some of its juices in the process.
Step 3The following day, in a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until it is just hot enough to steam.
Step 4While the milk is warming, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and cornstarch until the mixture is completely smooth.
Step 5Once the milk is steaming, add half of it, continuously whisking, to the egg mixture.
Step 6Add the milk and eggs back into the hot milk, continue stirring, and heat it for 1 to 2 minutes, until the custard reaches 170 F on a digital thermometer and is very thick.
Step 7Immediately remove it from heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and put it to one side to cool; then put it into the refrigerator to chill down before filling the cake.
Step 8To make the Charlotte, line a Charlotte mold by pressing the ladyfingers into the side of the pan in an upright fashion; this can also be done in a springform pan if you do not have a Charlotte mold.
Step 9Spoon the chilled custard into the center of the pan, spreading it out to touch the ladyfingers; you will have to do this gently so as not to disturb them. Smooth the surface of the custard.
Step 10Chill the Charlotte in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.