A few years back there was a recipe for a strawberry & pink pepper shortbread cookie in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I was immediately smitten with the idea. Unfortunately the resulting cookies were disappointingly bland. I didn't lose my interest in the pink pepper & strawberry combination, and the following summer decided to add some crushed pink peppercorns to strawberries I was macerating for shortcake. It was love at first bite. The spicy & citrusy pink pepper complemented the sweet and juicy berries like they were long lost friends. It is especially good with the local Hood strawberries that are now in season in Portland.
This is barely a recipe, but it's delicious enough to be shared. These are great for shortcakes, on plain or vanilla yogurt, on ice cream or blended into a shake. They are also surprisingly good on a chevre smeared crostini. - hardlikearmour
Test Kitchen Notes
The pink pepper used in this recipe gives the macerated strawberries a complex floral yet woodsy aroma, which gave the dish a sense of mystique before I even took a bite. The brightness of the pink pepper makes it a great complement to strawberries, and it's spiciness really highlighted the natural sweetness of the fruit, leaving behind a light, lingering heat. I thought a rich ice cream might temper the peppery fruit, but I happily found that is not the case. Pink pepper might look sweet, but you will love the spice it adds to this dish. This is a great dessert topping and a great snack! - forester_lady —duclosbe1
- Makes about 2 cups
1 & 1/2
pounds fresh strawberries, preferably locally grown
3 to 4 teaspoons
2 to 4 tablespoons
- Wash strawberries and remove stems. Cut into slices or wedges and place into a non-reactive bowl.
- Using a mortar and pestle mash up the pink peppercorns until coarsely ground. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar, and mash until almost homogenous. (Alternately use a spice grinder.)
- Pour into the bowl with the strawberries and mix to combine. Cover the bowl and let rest in the refrigerator for an hour or so to macerate. Mix well and taste for sweetness. Add additional sugar if desired.
- Optional: I like to mash about 1/3 to 1/2 of the berry pieces with my potato masher to make a chunky sauce. If I'm going to make crostini I will not do this step.