I picked these berries myself. With my own hands. Yep-I reached into the refrigerated case at Sam’s and picked them myself. Sorry. I guess the weekend sassyness hasn’t worn off yet.
If you like strawberries Romanoff you’ll love this multi-berry version even more. A creamy, dreamy sauce that comes together in minutes, spooned over the season’s freshest berries. Elegant enough for company dessert and easy enough for the ending to an everyday meal. But it’s full of nutrious fruit so…it could be a delicious, decadent start to your breakfast as well.
In fact, the first time I ate strawberries Romanoff was for breakfast. It was at a bed and breakfast where the innkeeper chose to serve it in a stemmed wineglass as the first course. Evidently many visitors were impressed with this delicious starter because she kept stacks of recipe cards on the dining table. Of course, I took a card. Without veering too far off subject here I have to express my dismay when people won’t share recipes. I don’t mean I’m opposed to paying for cookbooks. Developing original recipes is difficult, time-consuming and expensive. I’m talking about someone who vows to keep great-aunt Sally’s recipe for tuna salad a deep, closely guarded secret. These people aren’t writing cookbooks or cooking for a Michelin star restaurant. They just don’t like to share. They were probably the ones hogging the teeter-totter at recess. But this innkeeper has always shared her most requested recipes, even the very simple ones. She’s my kind of people. (Excuse me while I put my soapbox away.)
This recipe has been all over the internet, in various forms, since I first tasted it many years ago. Some recipes use ice cream instead of sour cream, and many versions call for the strawberries to be soaked in orange liquor. French chefs, working variously for the Russian royal family (the Romanoffs) or a London hotel, depending on what story you ascribe to, are credited with inventing the original dish, while an American restaraunteur (who fancied himself a long lost noble Romanoff) is often credited with popularizing it in his Hollywood restaurant. Wherever it came from, I’m glad it came.
And fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult at all. Wash some berries, whip some cream, mix in a few other things and then layer those berries with all the goodness-twice. This recipe will make four pretty generous servings, or six to seven more reasonable ones. Having a party? Use small “shooter style” glasses to make many individual single-size desserts. Just put some fruit in the glass and spoon some cream mixture on top. No layering needed.
This dessert (or breakfast) is best eaten shortly after its made. The fruit starts releasing its juice and the whipped cream mixture will start to break down after a while. It will still taste delicious, but if presentation is terribly important, I’d put it together just before serving. And speaking of whipped cream, to whip cream quickly always chill your bowl and beaters in the freezer for at least 15 minutes prior to use, and keep your cream chilled until whipping time. Then whip it, whip it good. You knew it was coming.
I love that berries Romanoff is so easy to make, no oven needed, and who doesn’t like berries? Plus, if you say “berries” often enough I think it sounds healthy. At least, healthy-ish. If you really want to go all out you can serve it over cake. But then you’ll have to turn on the oven. Prepare an angel food or pound cake, top with berries, then spoon the sauce over it. It won’t be as healthy-ish, but it will be delish.
Easy Berries Romanoff
- Slightly more than half of a 16 oz. package of strawberries, sliced
- 6 oz. blackberries
- 6 oz. raspberries
- 6 oz. blueberries
- ½ c. sour cream
- 3 Tbs. brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
- ½ c. heavy cream
- 3 Tbs. sugar
- Additional whipped cream, berries and mint for garnish, if desired.
- Step 1 Slice strawberries and mix with remaining fruit. Set aside.
- Step 2 Whisk together in a medium bowl sour cream, brown sugar, and vanilla. Refrigerate.
- Step 3 With an electric mixer, whip cream until it starts to thicken.
- Step 4 Gradually add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
- Step 5 Remove sour cream mixture from refrigerator. Fold whipped cream gently into sour cream mixture with a rubber spatula until well combined.
- Step 6 Divide half of the fruit among 4-7 individual serving dishes.
- Step 7 Top with half the cream mixture, dividing it between the serving dishes.
- Step 8 Top with remaining fruit, then remaining cream mixture.
- Step 9 Garnish, if desired, with whipped cream, fruit and mint.