Fresh, in-season strawberries don't need much to dress them up — really just eating them out of hand will do. But if you want to turn them into a dinner party-worthy dessert, you don't have to try much harder. Let those berries swim in a mix of red wine, brown sugar, and vanilla for a little bit, and they are transformed into something even better than you can imagine.
These boozy strawberries taste almost caramelized and just a touch earthy, yet they are still incredibly juicy and bright. When served in bowls with billowy dollops of crème fraîche or whipped cream, they are definitely the best way to finish off a seasonal meal with your favorite people.
The Simplest Way to Upgrade a Container of Strawberries
If you have any leftovers, they'll be just fine for tomorrow's breakfast (expect them to soften up considerably). Don't be afraid to start the morning by giving your yogurt a little kick.
Red Wine Strawberries
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved, or quartered if very large (about 3 cups)
2 cups fruity dry red wine, such as Zinfandel or Merlot
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Crème fraîche or whipped cream, for serving
Place the strawberries in a large bowl and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Add the red wine and vanilla and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Spoon the strawberries into small bowls with a little liquid from the bowl and serve with a big dollop of crème fraîche or whipped cream.
- Storage: The berries will be at their best between 2 and 24 hours after making them. After that, they may start to get too soft sitting in the liquid, so it's best to enjoy them within that timeframe. Any leftovers would be a tasty (and a little bit boozy) addition to your morning yogurt.