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Fraisier, Or The Best Strawberry Dessert Ever Made

Thursday, June 23, 2011

When we got back from vacation, where I saw that beautiful patisserie book and checked out one here, one of the recipes was for something called a Fraisier.  The nice thing about the book was that it not only featured and had pictures from inside those gorgeous shops, the shops had shared some of their recipes.

The shop that made the Fraisier was Stohrer , the oldest patisserie in Paris.  The founder, Stohrer, was the personal patisseir to Louis XV's wife, Marie, since 1725.  When Marie married Louix XV, he became the court's top pastry chef until he left to open his own shop on rue Montorgueil.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

When I saw the picture of the Fraisier in the book, I just had to make it.  It was *beautiful* -- and I had just made strawberry jam so I thought of a way I could incorporate the jam into the dessert.  This is the way I do recipes...not going by the original recipe but changing it here and there so it reflects what I know or are familiar with.  If you have interest in making the Stohrer version of a Fraisier, it's on page 29.  This is my version:

Ingredients:
Biscuit Genoise
5 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
just shy of 1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground almonds

Creme Au Beurre
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 large egg whites
1-1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

Also:
strawberry jam, about 1/2 to 2/3 cup
strawberries -- approximately 10-12 large, maybe more/less

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375*.
Prepare a standard-size jelly roll pan with parchment paper lining the bottom, and butter the sides.
I could not find ground almonds at my grocery store, so I purchased blanched almonds and simply ground them fine with my hand blender.
In a small/medium pan, I put some water on to simmer, and above that in the pan (but not touching the water) my Kitchenaid stand mixer bowl.
Inside the Kitchenaid bowl, place the sugar and eggs and whisk over the simmering pan of water about four minutes so that it is fluffy.
Put the Kitchenaid bowl back into the mixer and let the machine beat the eggs/sugar further on medium speed for another eight minutes.  This will make the mixture even fluffier.
In another bowl, combine the flour and almonds.  Now add that to the bowl with eggs/sugar.
Pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan making sure it is nice and even, and place into the 375* oven.
Bake for 12-18 minutes until it is a nice golden yellow.


While the batter is cooking, make the creme au beurre (butter cream).
In a saucepan, mix together the sugar and water, and bring it up to soft ball stage (I always stop at 238*).
While that is coming up to temperature, in a Kitchenaid bowl, beat the egg whites until they are almost stiff.
Once the syrup is at temp, while the Kitchenaid is still going, pour in the hot liquid and confectioner's sugar, and keep the Kitchenaid going until the mixture is nice and fluffy and cooled down to room temperature.
Now add in the butter a bit at a time until well incorporated.
Note: if the butter cream seems a bit too 'loose' feel free to add extra confectioner's sugar while mixing to keep it nice and together.
Put this butter cream into a large Ziploc bag.  Put in the refrigerator to keep it cool until ready to use.

When the biscuit genoise is ready, take it out of the oven, cut it down the center to make two equal pieces:
Fraisier

Now place one half of the biscuit genoise on top of the other, and cut off all edges so they are perfectly even. Take the top half of the pastry off and put away for a moment.  Now spread 1/2 the strawberry jam evenly over all the top:
Fraisier

Cut the tops off the strawberries, then cut them in half lengthwise.  Now place them in this fashion so their cut surface is facing out:
Fraisier

Take the butter cream out of the refrigerator, cut off the tip of the bottom of one side of the Ziploc, and pipe half the butter cream over the strawberries:
Fraisier
Ooooh yum!

Place the other half of the biscuit genoise on top, spread with the rest of the strawberry jam, then once again with the rest of the buttercream, and top with a pretty strawberry...
Fraisier

Perfect for a happy picnic here at home!
Fraisier
One of the favorite desserts I've made ever.

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