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What is Strawberries Romanoff?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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Strawberries Romanoff is a fruit and cream dessert that is simple, yet elegant. It's creator is thought to be Marie Antoine Careme, who was the chef to the Russian ruler Nicholas I from the Romanoff family. Strawberries Romanoff is meant to be a light dessert that's ideal after a heavy meal since there is no cake or other starchy component to it.

The strawberries are prepared for the dessert by hulling and washing as well as quartering or slicing them. The prepared fruit is then marinaded and chilled in the refrigerator for several hours. Just before serving time, the Strawberries Romanoff is put together by placing the chilled, marinated fruit in dessert dishes along with whipped cream and ice cream. There are different versions of the classic dessert, including reduced calorie and fat options that use low-fat sour cream.

The most common Strawberries Romanoff variation is to use orange-flavored liqueur for adult dinner parties, but orange juice for family dinners as well as for gatherings for adults who don't drink alcohol. Although the dessert is simple to prepare, it's important that the prepared strawberries be marinated in the sugar and orange juice or liqueur as well as be refrigerated for at least three hours. The berries should be cold to better coordinate with the chilled whipped cream and frozen ice cream as well as be sweet and flavorable.

Here's a basic recipe for Strawberries Romanoff:

3 1/2 cups strawberries — hulled, washed and sliced or quartered

1/3 cup sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons orange juice or orange-flavored liqueur

1 tablespoon grated fresh orange peel (zest)

1 1/4 cups heavy cream — whipped and chilled

1 1/4 cups vanilla ice cream

Slivered almonds and fresh mint for garnish — optional

1. Place the hulled, washed and sliced or quartered strawberries in a bowl with the sugar, orange juice or liqueur and zest. Refrigerate the strawberry mixture to allow it to marinate for about 3 - 4 hours. Stir the strawberries occasionally.

2. Whip the cream into soft peaks by beating it with an electric mixer or by hand with a wire whisk. Soft peaks mean that when a whisk or beater is pulled up, the whipped cream stands up slightly, but folds over at the top.

3. Alternate layers of marinated strawberries, ice cream and whipped cream in parfait or champagne glasses. Alternatively, Strawberries Romanoff can be created by placing the strawberry mixture in serving bowls and topping it with the creams.

4. For the most elegant presentation, slivered almonds as well as a sprig of fresh mint may be placed on the top of the dessert.

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Discussion Comments
By LisaLou — On Jan 24, 2012

I know a few people who don't like strawberries, but can't imagine not enjoying this delicious fruit.

My kids and I love to go to the strawberry fields in June and pick our own strawberries. Making Strawberries Romanoff is something we look forward to all year long.

When I am making this with my kids, we use orange juice to marinade the strawberries in. The combination of the orange and strawberry flavors is wonderful.

My kids love getting out the tall parfait glasses and mixing the strawberries with ice cream and whipped cream. This is a dessert that is perfect for an evening at home with the family, or for entertaining guests.

Anytime I have served this when we have company, I always get a lot of compliments.

By honeybees — On Jan 23, 2012

Strawberries Romanoff is one of my favorite spring and summer desserts. As soon as the strawberries around here are ripe, I start craving this sweet, light dessert.

No matter how full I am after a meal, I always have room for something sweet. This strawberry dessert recipe is perfect because it takes care of my sweet tooth, yet is not too rich or heavy.

For a different twist, I have used brown sugar and sour cream to marinade my strawberries in. This is different from the traditional recipe, but has a unique taste that many people enjoy.

By julies — On Jan 23, 2012

@summing - I have made Strawberries Romanoff the traditional way, and I have also tried to make a lighter version of it.

When making a lighter version of this strawberry dessert the two biggest variations I make are using a light cream and low fat ice cream.

By making these two substitutions, you can reduce the number of calories and grams of fat you are consuming.

Another little trick I use is to use more strawberries and less of the cream and ice cream when I line the parfait glasses.

This way you are getting more of the sweet fruit and less of the high calories that come with the other ingredients.

By summing — On Jan 22, 2012

Is there any way to make a lighter version of strawberries romanoff? Its sounds delicious but there is a lot of fatty dairy in this dish. Has anyone made a low cal version that still has some of the flavor?

I love strawberries and cream but I am trying to loose weight in the new year. Fruit desserts like these are so much better than chocolate cake or cookies but I am trying to take this seriously so I'd like to cut out as much of the cream as possible. Any tips?

By whiteplane — On Jan 21, 2012

I love all things strawberry and strawberries romanoff is one of my favorite summer strawberry recipes. Its great for a backyard BBQ because it is both light and rich.

I buy strawberries sliced and frozen from the store. I thaw them out, rinse them gently and then begin to put together the dessert. I have made it with lots of different variations, trying different liquors and sometimes adding nuts. It's always delicious. I don't think there is any way to spoil strawberries honestly.

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