Aunt Linda’s Strawberry Thaw
My mom is a great cook, and like most great cooks, she has signature recipes that are family favorites. Her strawberry thaw is one of my dad’s favorite recipes, and I’m guessing that I have cousins who love it also, because the recipe my mom sent me was titled “Aunt Linda’s Strawberry Thaw.”
I made the strawberry thaw last week for Valentine’s Day as I had frozen strawberries defrosted for another recipe, and because the thaw is stored in the freezer, and we were going away for the weekend the next day.
Here’s what my mom had to say about the dessert:
This was a dessert I started making in about 1987. Once I made it, Uncle Andy [my dad] fell in love with it. When I would make it, he would salivate as to when he could have it. Remember he is not supposed to have sugar, but the Hungarian in him cannot control himself. Like most everything I baked, it would be for “company.” He would hover around the kitchen, hoping to put his little pinky in for a taste. That would be a “no-no” in the clean Linda kitchen environment, but this was a good recipe. There was always a surplus of mousse that I would put in glass dishes and Andy was allowed to eat this. This dessert was always a hit at dinner parties and is impressive to look at. Have it thaw in fridge about a half hour before serving.
I’ve changed the recipe quantities a bit from what my mom sent because the next time I make the recipe, I plan to add crumb mixture to the sides of the cake, not just the top and bottom.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) melted butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 quart (4 cups) sliced, defrosted strawberries
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ pint (2 cups) whipping cream
4 fresh strawberries
Preheat oven to 375. Combine melted butter and sugar in a 8×11 pyrex pan (you may want to use two to better brown the mixture). Stir in flour and nuts until thoroughly blended. Bake for about 10 minutes, turning over halfway through.
In a very large bowl, beat egg whites to form soft peaks (I used a KitchenAid), gradually adding the sugar. Add berries, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat on high speed until tripled in volume. Whip cream separately and then carefully fold into strawberry mixture.
In a springform pan,sprinkle a cup and a half of the crumb mixture and press into the bottom of the pan. Add mousse. You will have left more than enough and you can put this in little dishes. Place another cup and a half of the crumb mixture on top of the mousse. Cover the spring form pan with foil and freeze. Store the rest of the crumb mixture in the fridge. once the strawberry thaw is frozen, remove from springform ring and press crumb mixture to the sides. Cover tightly with foil and put back int he freezer (note: I haven’t tried this yet, but plan to make it this way next time).
Move to fridge a 1/2 hour before serving to thaw and garnish with strawberries.Tags: dessert, strawberry, strawberry thaw