5 Ingredients or Fewer

Pink Pepper Macerated Strawberries

June 28, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Makes about 2 cups
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 1 & 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries, preferably locally grown
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons pink peppercorns
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
  1. Wash strawberries and remove stems. Cut into slices or wedges and place into a non-reactive bowl.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • lorigoldsby
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • mrslarkin
  • TiggyBee
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

35 Reviews

AntoniaJames July 7, 2011
Really like your correct use of "alternately." Also really like the recipe. A lot. ;o)
hardlikearmour July 7, 2011
Thanks on both counts, AJ! I do hope you enjoy it.
lorigoldsby July 4, 2011
I always Blanche at the cost of those pink peppercorns but buy them anyway....now I have another recipe for them! This will be a nice substitute for my usual basil and berry combo. Looking forward to more pink recipes.
hardlikearmour July 7, 2011
Thanks, LG. I love the pink peppercorns so I ignore their cost.
TheWimpyVegetarian June 29, 2011
Great idea (and I love the photo!)! I like a light sprinkling of black pepper on macerated strawberries, so I know I'd love this too.
hardlikearmour June 29, 2011
I really love pink pepper in general - kinda peppery bite, but tempered. I hope you can try it! Thanks for the props on the photo. I thought the contrast was really nice.
mrslarkin June 29, 2011
Mmm...sounds really tasty!!!! Well done, hla!
hardlikearmour June 29, 2011
Thanks, mrslarkin!!
TiggyBee June 29, 2011
Yummy - can't wait to try!
hardlikearmour June 29, 2011
Thanks, TB! I can eat it by the spoonful.
melissav June 29, 2011
For some reason, I can no longer reply to the original string - this happens a lot to me lately. I use Mrs. Wheelbarrow's recipe (http://www.mrswheelbarrow.com/2010/05/feeling-jammy-first-crop-strawberry/) and use pink peppercorns instead of the the black; however, I use more than the 10 peppercorns called for in the recipe, probably a small handful and I lightly crush them. It is delicious as are all of Mrs. W's preserving recipes. She hasn't led me astray yet!
hardlikearmour June 29, 2011
Thanks! I will definitely need to make some strawberry jam this year.
gingerroot June 29, 2011
Love everything about this! Will pick up some Maui strawberries from the FM on Saturday...this atop a chevre smeared crostini sounds heavenly.
hardlikearmour June 29, 2011
Thanks, gingerroot! I hope you try them.
kmartinelli June 29, 2011
Oh, hardlikearmor, you've done it again! Love at first bite indeed. These are going on my absolutely must try asap list!
hardlikearmour June 29, 2011
Thanks so much, kmartinelli! I hope you like them.
lapadia June 28, 2011
Love pepper flavored strawberries, have never done it this way, I usually sprinkle a little over my strawberry w/green salads (or slaws). Thanks for sharing this, HLA!
hardlikearmour June 28, 2011
You should definitely try grinding some pink peppercorns on your next strawberry salad! In fact, just crunch a pink peppercorn in your teeth sometime. They have a lovely flavor. I was almost embarrassed to share this "recipe" since I'd barely consider it a recipe, but I'm glad I did.
lapadia July 14, 2011
This recipe inspired me to make a sorbet with it...posted on F52 today.
inpatskitchen June 28, 2011
hardlikearmour June 28, 2011
melissav June 28, 2011
Love it. I add pink peppercorns to my strawberry jam and it is a great combo.
hardlikearmour June 28, 2011
That's a great idea! Would you mind sharing your recipe?
boulangere June 28, 2011
That does sound good!
Sagegreen June 28, 2011
Nice! Wasn't it the 'galloping gourmet' who suggested adding black pepper on top of strawberries way back when it was so revolutionary? Love the idea of pink!
hardlikearmour June 28, 2011
Maybe so! Of course, he was before my time ;) I'm a huge fan of pink peppercorns, and the tree they come from is positively gorgeous when it's full of the berries.
Midge June 28, 2011
A great idea. I've got some berries in the fridge that are just asking for this treatment
hardlikearmour June 28, 2011
Thanks, Midge! I've also got some strawberry drinking vinegar infusing, so will let you know how it turns out.
Midge June 28, 2011
Can't wait to hear how it works.
wssmom June 28, 2011
It's amazing the way ideas can stick with you! This is just wonderful!
hardlikearmour June 28, 2011
I agree!
boulangere June 28, 2011
Wow, what a wonderful combination. I'll try it this week.
hardlikearmour June 28, 2011
Thanks, boulangere! Let me know if you give it a whirl.
Beautiful, M. June 28, 2011
This sounds fantastic and very interesting!
hardlikearmour June 28, 2011
Thanks, BMF! The pink pepper adds an interesting layer of flavor to an old standard.