Russian Cream with Strawberries

This thick, creamy, custard-like dessert from chef Zakary Pelaccio is topped with sweet strawberries and a tangy maple-vinegar drizzle.

Russian Cream with Strawberries
Photo: © Cedric Angeles
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1 cup sugar

  • Two 1/4-ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin

  • 2 1/4 cups sour cream

  • 6 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 cup red wine vinegar

  • 8 ounces strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and gelatin. Stir in 3/4 cup of cold water and let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk the sour cream with 1 1/2 teaspoons of maple syrup.

  3. Bring the sugar-gelatin mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until the sugar and gelatin dissolve. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream until frothy on top. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle the heavy cream mixture into the sour cream; whisk until fully incorporated. Divide the cream among eight 6-ounce ramekins and refrigerate overnight.

  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and the remaining 6 tablespoons of maple syrup and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup, 15 to 20 minutes. Let the maple gastrique cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

  5. To serve, top the Russian cream with the strawberries and drizzle with some of the maple gastrique.

Make Ahead

The Russian cream can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

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