Ripe strawberries in red wine is just the kind of effortless summer dessert that we all need more of. The red wine reduction has hints of lemon and fresh thyme that meld beautifully with ripe strawberries, and is perfect spooned over vanilla ice cream.
It’s nice to end a dinner party with something sweet, but unless I have a fancy dessert planned, I usually forgo dessert altogether. Recently, though, I’ve realized this is a mistake. A few weeks back, thumbing through Diana Henry’s Simple, I found her recipe for Fraises Mam Goz and knew instantly that I’d found a go-to summer dessert. The Breton-style recipe is simply red wine, sweetened and reduced slightly, poured over ripe strawberries. After the strawberries have mellowed in the red wine and chilled in the fridge for a few hours, syrup and berries can be served as-is or spooned over vanilla ice cream for a dessert that’s both sublime and effortless. Just like summer, really.
Inspired by Diana Henry, my take on strawberries in red wine has hints of lemon and fresh thyme. The red wine is reduced to a thin syrup with toasty caramel notes, and once it’s absorbed into the strawberries, the flavor is bight and sweet with rich undertones.
The strawberries in red wine can be made up to a day ahead of time. Though the syrup is still delicious after a few days (and very well suited to being drizzled over yogurt), the beauty of the dish is in the contrast between the plump, sweet strawberries and the depth of the red wine, and that interplay fades after a day.
Ripe strawberries in red wine is the kind of effortless summer dessert that we all need more of. With hints of lemon and fresh thyme, the red wine reduction melds beautifully with ripe strawberries and is perfect spooned over vanilla ice cream. Recipe inspired by Diana Henry's Simple.
- 1 cup red wine (try Beaujolais or Pinot Noir)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered
- vanilla ice cream
Pour wine into a medium-sized non-reactive saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Bring mixture to a vigorous simmer; mixture should be bubble energetically, but not so much that it pops and spits; edge heat down slightly as needed. Stirring often, cook mixture until it's thickened slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 10 - 12 minutes. Remove from heat, add thyme sprigs, and set aside to steep for 10 minutes. Note that mixture will be rather thin – it will thicken slightly as it cools.
Remove thyme sprigs and pour syrup over berries. Cover and chill in the fridge for 2 hours or up to 1 day.
Serve drizzled over generous scoops of vanilla ice cream.