Strawberry Charlotte Russe

Leave it to my grandmother’s generation to have a delicious dessert with gelatin. A standby ingredient of the “greatest generation,” gelatin is often forgotten these days. Yet, this one ingredient provides a fantastic texture and appearance for dessert dishes. Strawberry Charlotte Russe is an “oldie but goodie,” for its name is derivative of Russian royalty and French culinary prowess. 

With strawberries coming into season here in the Deep South, this Farmer is exploring a few old faithful recipes. A Charlotte Russe is delicious with any in season berry (black, blue or rasp) but especially good with strawberries. Though there are methods of ringing the mousse like dessert with additional lady fingers, tying with ribbons, and presenting in more formal fashions, I simply prefer to mound this delicacy in a pretty serving dish, scoop onto lovely dessert serving pieces, eat and enjoy the very essence of the season. There is something special about using family pieces, and my Mimi’s great Aunt Mamie's china is just the token for a dainty dessert. Though highly elegant, this dessert is severely easy to prepare and it's sure to be a hit with you and yours. 

From the strawberry patches near and around Kathleen to you, happy strawberry season!

Strawberry Charlotte Russe
2 dozen ladyfingers
1 ½ tablespoons of unflavored gelatin (1 package)
¼ cup of cold water
½ cup sugar
2 cups strawberries
½ cup strawberry juice
1 teaspoon of vanilla
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of heavy cream, whipped

  • Line a glass mold or spring form cake pan with half the ladyfingers.
  • Soak gelatin for 5 minutes in water.
  • Mix sugar with strawberries and let stand about 5 minutes. This will make juice. If there is not enough to make ½ cup of juice add water to strawberry juice to make ½ cup.
  • Dissolve gelatin in juice heated to a boiling point.
  • Fold in berries, flavoring, salt, and whipped cream.
  • Pour on top of ladyfingers. Chill for 2 hours or longer. Serves 6.