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RECIPE: Strawberries Romanoff

When we published a recent recipe for Pavlova, we were surprised that we didn’t have a recipe for Strawberries Romanoff. We have often used to fill or top the Pavlova.

Today, we remedy that!

The original recipe for Strawberries Romanoff was created around the turn of the 20th century by the great chef Auguste Escoffier, when he was the chef at the Carlton Hotel in London.

He called the recipe Strawberries Americaine Style. Fresh strawberries were topped with a blend of whipped cream and softened vanilla ice cream, flavored with Grand Marnier liqueur.

The name “Romanoff” appeared when the recipe was appropriated by a Beverly Hills restaurateur in the 1940s or 1950s. He called it Strawberries Romanoff, after the restaurant. You’ll also see the spelling “Romanov.” It’s a variation that occurred in the translation from the Cyrillic (Russian) alphabet to english.

A great favorite, the recipe made its way from coast to coast. Today you will find variations of Strawberries Romanoff that use crème fraîche, heavy cream, ice cream, sour cream, whipped cream or a combination.

  • The strawberries can be left whole, but are easier to eat when sliced lengthwise.
  • The strawberries can be folded into the cream (photo #1), or the cream can be used as a topping (photo #2).
  • Different types of sugar can be used: white, brown or confectioners.
  • Some versions first macerate the strawberries in the liqueur (or orange juice for an alcohol-free version).
  • Others switch out the liqueur, for example, anisette or maraschino. Still others add brandy.
    There are no wrong answers. One of our hacks is simply to stir confectioners sugar and Grand Marnier into heavy cream. This creates a sauce that fans of the zabaglione will appreciate.

    Whatever the format, the dessert is light and the simple ingredients create sophisticated flavors.

    The dessert is most elegant when served in stemmed glasses. Margarita glasses, Martini glasses or sherbet champagne glasses work, as do globe-shape wine glasses.

    February 27 is National Strawberries Day.

    Ingredients For 8 Half-Cup Servings
    For The Berries

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 4 cups whole strawberries, hulled, halved or quartered lengthwise
    For The Topping

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •   Strawberries Romanoff
    [1] Strawberries Romanoff with the quartered berries blended into the cream (photo and a recipe that adds orange juice instead of liqueur, from Only Best Cooking).

    Strawberries Romanoff
    [2] Strawberries Romanoff with the cream used as topping (photo courtesy A Family Feast, which has a variation of the recipe with brown sugar and brandy).

    Fresh Strawberries
    [3] Turn fresh strawberries into an elegant dessert (photo InHarvest | Facebook).


    1. COMBINE the 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup liqueur in a large bowl; stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the berries and gently toss. Set aside.

    2. MAKE the topping: Whip the cream until foamy and gradually add the 2 tablespoons each of sugar and liqueur. Beat until soft peaks form. Stir in the sour cream/crème fraîche until blended. Stir in the optional cinnamon.

    3. DIVIDE the berries among the glasses or dishes, and top with the whipped cream. Alternatively, fold the berries into the cream, the approach we prefer. Serve immediately.


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