STRAWBERRY RHUBARB TRIFLE
Ingredients for 8 servings:
1 pound fresh strawberries
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Grenadine
1 pound fresh rhubarb, rinsed and cut into 1" lengths
1 cup crème fraîche
2 packages Pepperidge Farm shortbread cookies
Rinse and stem the strawberries. Quarter all but 8 berries. Slice these, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and reserve in a bowl.
Combine the remaining sugar with 2/3 cup water and the Grenadine in a deep skillet and bring to a simmer, stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves. Add the rhubarb pieces, cover and cook slowly for 5 minutes until the rhubarb is almost tender and whole. Add the quartered strawberries and cook uncovered another 5 minutes until the berries are soft but still hold their shape. Strain the mixture and reserve the fruit pieces in a bowl. Return the juices to the skillet and reduce them to 3/4 cup over medium high heat. Stir the reduction into the fruit and allow it to cool.
Seal the cookies in a plastic baggie and crush them with a rolling pin. Divide the crumbs among eight glass serving bowls or over the bottom of a large serving bowl. Spoon two-thirds of the cooled fruit mixture on top of the cookies. Spread on a thin layer of crème fraîche. Divide the remaining puree over the cheese and spread it to cover. Garnish with the sliced berries. Dab on a final teaspoon of cream. Serve immediately or chill, covered tightly for several hours before serving.
HOMEMADE CRÈME FRAÎCHE
Stir 1 tablespoon buttermilk into 1 cup whipping cream (Dean's preferred) in a clean glass container. Cover and allow this mixture to sit at room temperature until it thickens noticeably. (This will take a few hours in warm weather and a day or more in cool conditions.) Refrigerate when not using. Will last for 1 month.