Make Ahead

Coeur a la Creme with Strawberries

April 27, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Cook time 36 hours
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

In 1976, as a relatively new bride, my mother (Veronica) signed up for a series of cooking classes run by a local cookware store near my parents' house in Connecticut. Up until that point, she'd taught herself pretty much everything she knew about cooking, by experimenting with recipes from her subscription to Gourmet and various cookbooks. But she had never really learned the basics. So, off she went for 3 hours every Wednesday afternoon, to master soups, baking and—most importantly—the art of the Cold Buffet.

My mother felt much more confident after these classes, and she's been a great cook ever since. As she put it, the classes "opened the door" to a whole new world of improvisation in the kitchen. One of the dishes she learned in the Cold Buffet class in particular stuck with her: a coeur a la creme with strawberries, which she made frequently for Easter while I was growing up. Several years ago, she gave me the recipe, and I now make it regularly. This year, my mother made a coeur a la creme and brought it when she and my father came to our apartment for Easter dinner. We sat around the table, filling our spoons with drifts of the snowy white, barely sweet dessert, and life was good. —Merrill Stubbs

What You'll Need
  • 8 ounces ricotta
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, more to taste
  1. Line a 6-cup mold or 6 to 8 smaller molds with holes in the bottom (you can buy a special, heart-shaped coeur a la creme molds if you're into that sort of thing—which I am, as you can see from the photo above), a basket or a colander with a double layer of damp cheesecloth, making sure you cut the cheesecloth large enough that it hangs over the edges of the mold.
  2. Put the ricotta and cream cheese in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix, scraping down the bowl a few times, until there are no longer any lumps. Add the sugar and vanilla and pulse until combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the cream into the cheese. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture. Spoon the mixture into the mold, smoothing the top gently. Fold the cheesecloth over the top to cover completely. Set the mold on a tray and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours.
  4. An hour or two before you are ready for dessert, hull and quarter the strawberries and put them in a bowl with a tablespoon or two of sugar (the amount will depend on how sweet your strawberries are). Cover and let the berries macerate until ready to serve. Unmold the coeur a la creme and serve with the strawberries.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • 1natalplum
  • Devangi Raval
    Devangi Raval
  • ChefJune
  • Waverly
  • Margy@hidethecheese

9 Reviews

kkelleycooks November 2, 2015
Does this really hold its shape when you take it out of the mold? Want to serve to a couple after their wedding - thanks!
1natalplum February 26, 2012
In the 80's I worked at a french restaurant in Carmel, CA that served this. I liked it so much I bought 4 molds. Haven't made it for years, since I lost the recipe. This recipe looks even better than my lost one. Thanks for reminding me of how great this is!
Devangi R. January 10, 2012
Hi Merrill, Thanks for this recipe. I made this on our first wedding anniversary to give a small surprise to my husband, he loved it .. I had served these with some blueberries and strawberries and some chocolate sauce. I too liked it, but personally cream cheese is not my favorite. Can I substitute any other form of cheese may be mascarpone. Will it give the same results.
ChefJune June 22, 2011
aaaah, Merrill! This is one of the most romantic desserts. And it can be made completely ahead of time, in fact, it has to be! I like it with a raspberry sauce, too. Around Valentine's Day, when fresh berries are hard as rocks, pushing frozen raspberries through a tamis yields lovely stuff for a sauce. ;)
Merrill S. June 22, 2011
I love it with raspberry sauce too!
Waverly June 11, 2010
I've been looking for something simple but interesting to do with the beautiful strawberries I bought today. This looks perfect. Thank you.
I made this with my children for my Mother's Day dessert and it was excellent! I posted some pictures of them in action on my site:
monkeymom May 5, 2010
Had this over the weekend for a brunch and everyone loved it. Thanks for the recipe!
Abs April 30, 2010
Foolproof! Resist the temptation to use ANY ingredients that are not full fat, because it will not set properly.