Growing up my favorite jam was strawberry. Besides being delicious, it also was a novelty in my home. Mami would almost always buy guava, and pineapple jam instead. Guava and pineapple are tropical fruits that are easily found in the Dominican Republic, so they would be much more inexpensive. Enjoying the rich flavor of strawberry jam on a rare occasion, was definitely a big treat. Now as a mom myself, I always have strawberries at home because Little L loves them too. Little L really loves fresas; she would beat me in a heart beat at a strawberry eating contest. That’s how much she loves them.
One of the things I like so much about strawberry jam, are the big chunks of strawberries and the some what enhanced strawberry flavor. How do they do it? is it the sugar? the cooking process? an added ingredient? I really don’t know but I am happy to report that I found an amazing alternative that delivers the same or even a much more deep strawberry taste: Roasted strawberries. Yup! And it makes so much sense, because by roasting the strawberries we are concentrating the flavors as they become extra sweet and tender. Roasted strawberries will release an exquisite juice and are the perfect topping for just about anything: ice cream, yogurt, cake, oh you name it. I can even see myself mashing them up a bit, and spreading them on a toast.
Despite these roasted strawberries being perfect for so many things, my favorite combination so far has been atop creamy and crunchy pavlova.
Have you tried a pavlova before? I actually shared my first pavlova recipe here. And I love, love, love them. The crunchy meringue, with the creamy whipped filling, and in this case, topped with juicy sweet strawberries… oh, oh, oh my Lord, it is heaven.
Making pavlovas is fun too. You can take the fresh meringue and molded into what ever shape you want. You can use a pipping bag or you could use a spoon and form rustic shapes. I like the rustic look, so as you can see below I used a spoon to form a heart, which is perfect for any romantic occasion. I draw a heart first because let’s face it, I am not a professional artist.
Once you have a shaped down, make an indent so you can have space for the filling and bake it at 200 F for 50 minutes.
After all is done and baked, it will come out crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The meringue will be very fragile but it will hold its shaped so it is easy to handle and fill.
I filled them with vanilla whipped cream and topped it with my amazing new discovery, roasted strawberries.
Now your turn, go roast some strawberries and your life will be forever changed.
If you would like to be more familiar with Pavlovas, check my previous post on this topic here.
For roasting strawberries, just follow these simple steps:
- Cut a pint of strawberries in thirds
- Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of sugar and let them rest on a bowl for a minute or two
- In the meantime, preheat oven at 300 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Spread the strawberries on the baking sheet and bake for 20 -25 minutes
- Juices should be runny and not burned