Inspired by classic strawberry shortcake, this reinvented version is made with three forms of strawberry (macerated, powdered, pudding), features ginger-and-lemongrass-flavored choux pastry puff, and is topped with light, refreshing buttermilk granita. It's not traditional, but it is an explosion of flavors and textures that's absolutely worth making.
Why this recipe works:
- Using freeze-dried strawberries to flavor the pudding, macerate the strawberries, and dust the choux puffs adds deeply intense strawberry flavor throughout the dish.
- Buttermilk granita is light and refreshing and adds a subtle tang to balance the rich flavors in the dish.
- Infusing the choux pastry with ginger and lemongrass adds an unexpected, delicious aromatics to the dessert.
Note: This recipe makes enough for 16 small portions. While that may be more than is necessary, all of the components can be stored and used later, or used in other applications. Choux pastry can be scooped into balls and then frozen and kept in a zipper-lock freezer bag; defrost before baking. Buttermilk granita can be kept frozen for up to 5 days, and is delicious on its own. Strawberry sugar makes amazing strawberry milk (just stir it into milk until dissolved), and can be held in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
Put strawberry pudding in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Poke a hole in the bottom of each choux puff with the pastry-bag's tip and squeeze about 1 tablespoon of pudding into each puff. Set filled puffs on a baking sheet.
Put strawberry sugar in a small fine-mesh strainer and sift it over the puffs to evenly coat.
Arrange puffs on plates and spoon macerated strawberries alongside. Top strawberries with buttermilk granita and serve immediately.