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Coeur a la Creme with Fresh Strawberries

(Serve 4 to 6)
Coeur a la Creme with Fresh Strawberries
Coeur a la Creme (KEWR ah la KREHM) is a French dessert that means 'heart with cream.' 
The traditional heart shape makes it a perfect dessert to serve for Mother's Day, Valentine's Day,
a bridal shower or a wedding anniversary. The classic coeur a la creme is made with cream
cheese mixture that is placed in a special mold with a perforated bottom that allows the mixture
to drain and compact properly. Some cheeses will drain more liquid than others depending on
their water content.  The dessert can also be made in a fine mesh strainer lined with
cheesecloth but, of course, you will not have the classic heart shape.  Our recipe substitutes
ricotta and mascarpone for the standard cream cheese.  It gives the dessert a wonderfully light
texture.  Coeur a la Creme is not very sweet; if you like a sweet dessert, add a little more sugar.

1-1/4 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream

1 pint strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange liqueur


With an electric mixer, combine the ricotta, mascarpone, and sour cream until smooth.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat to blend ingredients.

In another bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
Fold the whipped cram into the ricotta mixture.

Line a 7-inch Coeur a la crème mold or strainer with dampened cheesecloth.
The ends of the cheesecloth should drape over the sides of the mold.
Pour the cheese mixture into the mold so that it is even with the top.
(You may have more cheese than will fit into the mold.)
Fold the excess cheesecloth over the top of the cheese mixture.
Place the mold on a plate or shallow pan, to catch the whey that will drain out.
Refrigerate for 24 hours.

For the sauce:
Reserve 6 berries for garnish.  Put the remaining berries and sugar in a food processor.  Puree the mixture until smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a strainer placed over a bowl.  With a spatula or wooden spoon press the sauce through the strainer to remove the seeds.  Discard the seeds.  Stir the orange liqueur into the strawberry sauce.    Refrigerate until serving time.

To serve:
Unfold the cheesecloth on top of the mold.
Place a serving plate on top of the mold and invert the mold.
Carefully remove the remaining cheesecloth.

Top with slices of strawberries and surround with sauce.
Serve by scooping portions of the cheese with some sauce into serving bowls.
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