While the weather hasn’t been as warm and sunny as we would all like, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some delicious strawberry desserts! Be sure to try out these two recipes from Rania Harris today!

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

3 cups heavy cream
2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1 quart chopped fresh strawberries – hulled and chopped


Heat the cream, sugar, vanilla, and vanilla seeds in a small saucepan only until the sugar is dissolved. Be sure the sugar is dissolved – you will no longer feel any grittiness from the sugar if you rub some cream between your fingers. Strain into a bowl, cover, and chill very well.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. After the ice cream begins to stiffen and about 2 minutes before it is done, add the strawberries and continue to freeze until done. Remove the ice cream from the canister and transfer to a plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Freeze until firm.

Just before serving: Let the ice cream sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before scooping.

Yield: Approximately 1 quart

Strawberry Tart

Pastry cream:

1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean


1 cup unsalted butter (chilled)
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 pints strawberries – hulled and halved
½ cup apricot jelly (melted)


Pastry cream: Whisk sugar, egg and egg yolk in medium bowl until thick. Sift cornstarch and flour into egg mixture. Blend well. Place milk in heavy saucepan. Scrape in vanilla seeds and add pod. Bring to a boil. Gradually pour milk into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to same saucepan. Cook over low heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Transfer pastry cream into bowl and discard vanilla bean. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap and chill.

Crust: In the bowl of a food processor combine butter and sugar. Add egg and lemon peel and process. Add in flour and process until a dough forms. Remove from bowl, wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface into a 12-inch diameter round. Transfer dough to an 9-inch tart pan. Press into pan and trim edges. Chill dough in freezer until very cold. Blind-bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and beans and continue baking at 375 degrees until the crust is golden – about 10 minutes. Cool crust on rack completely. Remove pan sides and place crust on a platter.

Spread pastry cream evenly over bottom of crust. Arrange strawberries in concentric circles atop the cream, covering completely. Brush with melted apricot jelly and chill for about 1 hour or until set.

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