During a recent farmers market tour + cooking class that I was leading, we spotted some gorgeous local blueberries. I had just preached the importance of having a game plan going into your shopping trip, and these blueberries weren’t in our game plan. But I think the occasional splurge is ok, so we went for it.
What we came up with for these berries was this super simple, summer dessert. I love teaching people to make balsamic reductions in my classes because a) it’s so easy, and b) it’s so versatile. I’m a big fan of balsamic with desserts, and I think this dish converted some of the skeptics in the class. This would also be great with strawberries, blackberries, or figs!
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, very cold
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 pint blueberries
1/4 cup basil, chopped or torn
Heat balsamic vinegar in a small pan over medium to medium-low heat. Cook until volume is reduced by half, 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. (You can speed up the cooling by placing the bottom of the pan in an ice bath and stirring the balsamic reduction).
Meanwhile, whip cold cream with an electric mixer (stand or handheld) until soft peaks start to form. Stir to ensure that any unwhipped cream in bottom of bowl is well mixed. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue beating until firm peaks form.
Plate whipped cream, add blueberries, drizzle on cooled balsamic reduction, then top with chopped basil. Serve immediately.
Be sure to cool balsamic reduction so it doesn't melt the cream!