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Salty Sweet Strawberry Crisp with Lazy Basil Ice Cream

May 10, 2012

Warning: I’m developing a major thing for strawberries this year.

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There’s a local pastry chef in my area who I’m kinda obsessed with. Everything she makes is divine. I practically stalk her every weekend to get my macaron fix. A few weeks ago, she had cake jars for sale. I bought one on a whim because I have no will power when it comes to cake in portable packaging. It was a strawberry shortcake cake jar with sponge cake, silky frosting, sweet macerated strawberries and a surprise ingredient – salty buttery Ritz crackers.

Have I mentioned that, aside from chocolate and cheese, Ritz crackers are my major weakness?

It. was. heaven. I devoured it.

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Then I immediately decided to steal the idea and put my own twist on it.

And so these Salty Sweet Strawberry Crisps were born.

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This is a dessert of contrasts. As if the contrast of soft, juicy, sweet strawberries and the crispy, crunchy, salty topping wasn’t enough, I felt it needed one more component. Something creamy and cold to compliment the warm crisp. Something like… basil ice cream, made the lazy way.

Store bought vanilla ice cream + fresh basil = lazy basil ice cream.

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I love the contrasts in this dessert and I love that it’s easy to throw together. You can even bake it ahead of time, making it great for spring / summer entertaining. I can see myself making this one over and over again!

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Salty Sweet Strawberry Crisp with Lazy Basil Ice Cream

Serves 4

Adjust the sugar according to the sweetness of your strawberries. Prepare the ice cream just before serving. Use the best quality vanilla ice cream you can afford for best results – one with just a few whole food ingredients and real vanilla beans.

Salty Sweet Strawberry Crisp Ingredients

2 heaping cups hulled & diced fresh strawberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons sugar (depending on berries)
1 tablespoon cornstarch

15 Ritz crackers
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 cup raw almonds, finely chopped
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
pinch of coarse salt

Lazy Basil Ice Cream Ingredients

1 cup good vanilla ice cream
6-8 large basil leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 4 6-ounce ramekins on a foil lined baking sheet.

Toss strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch together in a bowl. Divide evenly among ramekins.

Using your hands, crumble crackers into roughly pea sized pieces a medium bowl. Add brown sugar, almonds, salt and melted butter. Toss together until damp and evenly mixed. Top ramekins with mixture.

Bake ramekins uncovered on foiled lined baking sheet at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, or until fruit is bubbling and top is browned.

About 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve the crisps, remove ice cream container from freezer and sit at room temp to soften. Roll basil leaves into a cigar-shape and slice finely (aka chiffonade), then chop finely into small pieces. Scoop about 1 cup of softened ice cream into a small bowl and fold in basil with a spatula. Serve immediately over warm strawberry crisps.

To make ahead: You can bake the crisp several hours ahead of time. Cool, then keep loosely covered at room temperature. (I don’t recommend refrigerating, as the topping will get soggy.) Reheat at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, or until warm.

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21 Comments
  1. May 10, 2012 1:52 pm

    So beautiful! It’s always great to see interesting strawberry recipes. I shall be doing some when our come out. This looks wonderful. Great photos too.

  2. May 10, 2012 5:40 pm

    Thanks. I am going to try this, maybe next weekend! Will let you know how I liked it. Sounds delish! Love all the ingredients.

  3. May 10, 2012 5:48 pm

    LOL! Changed my mind, making it Saturday! ^_^!

  4. May 14, 2012 6:06 pm

    This looks like a great crisp.

  5. The Teenage Taste permalink
    May 20, 2012 11:33 am

    Strawberry and basil is one of those genius flavor combinations I’ve discovered via food blogging and am, to be honest, obsessed with. I would go crazy for this crisp – bookmarking!

  6. May 23, 2012 6:01 pm

    What a lovely dessert! I’m totally pro-strawberry and basil, and this looks like a marvelous way to combine two fantastic flavors! Nice work!

  7. May 23, 2012 8:28 pm

    I am definitely going to try this recipe. Thanks! I too am a major lover of cake AND strawberries. I am in love with the cake jar idea you mentioned. I would love to see a picture of this delight. I hope it was in a glass Mason jar because that it certainly what I am envisioning in my head :)

  8. May 23, 2012 10:19 pm

    Yum. I’ve never had Basil Ice Cream, but wow. I thought I had lost my appetite, but now, I have one. Only not for anything except this exact dish!

  9. May 24, 2012 1:36 am

    Oh my, these crisps sound and look amazing!
    Strawberries aren’t in season here, but apples are. I’m going to give them a go!

  10. May 24, 2012 6:05 pm

    I think the most enticing thing about your photo is the thin stripe of strawberry juice overflowing from under the crisp. Definitely bookmarking for the elusive “when I have bags of time on my hands!”

    Have a lovely weekend!

  11. May 24, 2012 11:09 pm

    Sounds amazing and I have all the ingredients on hand except for the Ritz. I’m going to make it this weekend! I don’t usually buy Ritz, I opt for a healthier version but this will be an excuse to get the real thing and my 9 yr old daughter will love it! Can’t wait!

  12. May 25, 2012 5:36 am

    What a beauty! I’m definitely trying this.

  13. May 25, 2012 10:36 am

    OMG!!! HOLD MY HEART! … Berries & Ice-cream are MY FAVOURITE THINGS on earth! THX for sharing!

  14. May 25, 2012 10:37 am

    OMG!!! HOLD MY HEART! … Berries & ice cream are MY FAVOURITE THINGS on earth! Thx for sharing!

  15. May 25, 2012 11:15 am

    Reblogged this on deliciouscravings.

  16. May 25, 2012 12:51 pm

    I don’t have an ice cream maker so this sounds like the perfect ice cream “recipe”. Can’t wait to try to make these strawberry crisps with a gluten free twist!

  17. May 25, 2012 8:22 pm

    Love the Lazy Bazil ice cream idea!

  18. May 27, 2012 4:04 pm

    I am making this for my dessert tomorrow – I made two mini versions last night as a test run – holy yum! While I couldn’t convince my husband to even TRY the basil ice cream, the basil/strawberry combo is a winner. Thanks!

  19. May 29, 2012 1:36 pm

    That looks great. Would definitely impress guests ..And basil adds the amazing flavor. Next on my list of things to make.

  20. May 31, 2012 1:56 pm

    Nothing beats strawberries in the summer. Great pics

  21. June 9, 2012 10:03 pm

    I just discovered your site, and I’m so glad I did! So many great recipes that I can’t wait to try!

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