Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Fun AND Adventures in Cooking Our CSA Share: STRAWBERRIES

We went strawberry picking today.  "The best ever!" we all said repeatedly.  Best because the weather topped out at a breezy 79F, which is perfect berry weather (and beats sweltering in the usual mid-80s+).  Best because there were so many bright-red berries.  Best because they were the sweetest strawberries we have ever picked.  Best because I could crawl around on the ground to help scavenge under the leaves.  Best because it's the only time Sis will eat strawberries, right off the plant.  Best because for Bud it's as good as a candy store.  Best because a friend had loaned us Pamona's universal pectin when I couldn't find Ball freezer pectin anywhere so that we could still make jam.  

It just so happens that Mama brought home an additional two quarts of strawberries from our CSA share today.  So we are overflowing with beautiful berries.  We've already made our first batch of jam (everyone gave the jam pot a stir--isn't that an old superstition?) and, depending on how many of the recipes below that we make and how many we freeze straight up for smoothies later, several more batches might be in the offing. 

Oh, and we can eat them plain, too.

(Though, they never compare to right off the bush, warm and sweet.)



Redwall Strawberry Cordial
2 lbs. strawberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 liter of plain seltzer
2 tablespoons water
1 pint heavy cream

Wash and slice strawberries. Heat strawberries on low flame in saucepan with ½ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. When soft and rendering liquid, add the other ½ cup of sugar.
Strain strawberries over bowl, saving juice. Crush strawberries until only seeds and fibers left. Add to juice.

Cool juice. Add seltzer to strawberry juice to taste. Add cream to cordial to taste and texture. Sweeten with powdered sugar.
Refrigerate at least an hour or until chilled.
Serve with fresh whipped cream.


Mommy Hungry's Strawberry-Almond Smoothie
1 1/2 cup almond milk or milk of your choosing
1 to 1 1/2  cup strawberries
1 heaping tablespoon almond butter

Blend and serve.

Mommy Hungry


Make Your Own Smoothie
1 1/2-2 cups frozen fruit (or mix of fresh and frozen, with ice cubes for thickness)
1/2-1 cup dairy or non-dairy (milk, soymilk, almond milk, yogurt, even silken tofu)
1 1/2 cup additional liquid like juice or nectar (mango nectar, orange juice, soda, tea)
1-2 tablespoons sweetener (honey, maple syrup, brown sugar)
add-ins:  almonds, fresh fruit, coconut butter, lime juice, vanilla extract, kale!

Blend, adding additional liquid for desired consistency.

Mommy Hungry


Rise 'N Shine Smoothie
1/2 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
1 cup orange juice
6 oz. vanilla yogurt (or plain, with 1 tablespoons sweetener)
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
4 whole strawberries
3 ice cubes
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Grind oats into fine crumbs in blender.  Then add remaining ingredients, blending until smooth.

Makes 2.

Smoothies and Summer Drinks recipe booklet


All-Star Muffins
3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose or cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
(Note: the KA cookbook mentions all sorts of add-ins, approximately 2 1/2 to 3 cups of whatever you desire
Preheat oven to 400F and lightly grease 16 muffin cups or use paper liners. 
In medium bowl, whisk flour, powder, soda, and salt, then set aside.  

In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy and almost white in color. Scrape down the bowl to make sure all the butter is incorporated, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth. Fill muffin cups and bake 18-24 minutes , until tester comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan to finish cooling on a rack (muffins left in pan with become touch from steaming).
(1 basic muffin, 274 calories)

King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion All-Purpose Baking Cookbook

Strawberry Bread

The first quick bread I made for DP—I made it one weekend I visited and left her the loaves. Those frozen strawberries are messy but work really well.
Makes 2 loaves

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped pecans
1 ½ pints strawberries, washed and stemmed (Note: 2-10 oz. packages frozen
strawberries, thawed, may be substituted for fresh.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar; mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix eggs and oil; add to dry ingredients. Stir in pecans. Fold in strawberries until moistened. Pour into 2 greased 9 x 5 x 3 in. loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. 


My Own New Fresh Strawberry Pie

1 1/4 cups graham crackers, crushed
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 quarts fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
16 oz sour cream

Make graham cracker crust but combining melted butter and sugar, then stir into crushed graham cracker crumbs until they stay together when pressed. Press into lightly greased pie plate, bake at 375 for 4-5 minutes. Cool. (BH&G recipe)
Cap strawberries; reserve half of the best ones. Mash the other half and add sugar and cornstarch which have been mixed together. Cook 5 or 6 minutes until clear and thick. Stir in lemon juice. Cool. (This takes longer than you expect and is the hardest part).

- Add whole strawberries to the cooled mixture, save some for garnish. Pour into baked pie shell. Top with sour cream and garnish with fresh whole strawberries, if desired.


Fresh Strawberry Pie

1-1/2 quarts fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 nine-inch baked pastry shell
- Cap strawberries; reserve half of the best ones. Mash the other half and add sugar and cornstarch which have been mixed together. Cook 5 or 6 minutes until clear and thick. Stir in lemon juice. Cool.
- Add whole strawberries to the cooled mixture, save some for garnish. Pour into baked pie shell. Top with whipped cream and garnish with fresh whole strawberries (though, we like it even better with a dollop of sour cream!)
strawberry pamphlet


Fruit Pie (adapted from Aunt T's Dewberry Cobbler recipe)

2 frozen pie crusts
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour, to thicken
2-10 oz. bags frozen mixed berries (including strawberries)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Remove both crusts from plastic bag. Place one on a cookie sheet. Cut the edge off the other so as to leave a circle of dough.
Mix sugar and flour together and then toss into frozen berries, mixing well (there is no need to defrost; the flour absorbs the extra liquid). Crush berries to extract juice.
Fill the pie crust with the berries. Remove the second pie crust (sans edge) and place it on top of the filled crust; it will overlap the edge of the filled crust. Pinch edges together and the impress with fork. Puncture the center to allow steam release, dab with pats of butter, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Cover edges with foil and bake 1-1 ½ hours, with cookie sheet below to catch spills, or until bubbling.

*Grammy and Aunt T's Original Oil Crust:
2 cups flour
½ cup oil
¼ cup milk
Mix flour, oil, and milk until it is the consistency of store-bought pie crust. Take 1/3 of dough and put aside for crust. Roll out remainder until the size of the pie plate, about ¼ inch thin. Place in ungreased plate (we used bread tin). . . . Later, roll out other crust and cover plate. Puncture to allow steam release, dab with pats of butter, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Mama and Mommy Hungry


My Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Cake

1 box white cake, with ingredients to make it
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 jar all-fruit strawberry jam
fresh strawberries, sliced

Bake cake in two 9" rounds according to instructions. Cool completely.

Whip heavy cream with sugar to taste (I like it less sweet so the cream flavor comes through).

Spread jam on bottom cake layer. Smooth some cream over this. Top with second round.

Cover with remaining whipped cream. Decorate with strawberries.

Serve immediately and keep remainders in refrigerator.


Victoria Sponge/Sandwich a la Tea & Sympathy

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
a few drops of vanilla extract
2 cups sifted flour (or 2 cups minus 2 Tablespoons flour)
1 heaping teaspoonful baking powder

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour two 8" round pans (I greased, put down parchment rounds, and greased and floured.)  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately two minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla.  Stir in flour and baking soda and stir til smooth.  Divide batter into two prepared pans.  Bake 20-25, until cake tester comes out clean.   Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

heavy whipping cream
strawberry jam
fresh strawberries, sliced or diced

Spread jam on one cake round.  Distribute cut-up strawberries.  Whip heavy cream until thick and spread on top of jam level.  Place second cake round on top.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Serve.  (I overstuffed my sponge--it should be a reserved thin layer, but, well, no.)

adapted from Anita Naughton and Nicola Perry, Tea and Sympathy:  The Life of an English Teashop in New York


Raspberry and Strawberry Shortcake

12 ounces fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries
7 ounces self raising flour
1 ounce ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons/2 ounces butter
3 ounces caster (superfine) sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 pint (1/2 cup) milk
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
1-ounce icing (confectioners') sugar
1/4 pint (1/2 cup) double cream

Thaw the frozen raspberries, if using.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Sift the flour, almonds, salt and cinnamon into a bowl and rub in the butter, mix in the sugar. Add the beaten egg and milk to make a scone-like dough. Divide the dough in 2 and gently shape each half to fit into greased 8-inch sandwich tins. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. When cold spread one of the layers with raspberry jam, then generously with the double cream and raspberries. Sprinkle raspberries with icing sugar, cover with the second layer and top with more cream. Decorate with a few raspberries. Best eaten when fresh.

© Recipe courtesy Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright


Individual Pavlovas
4 egg whites, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/2 cup sour cream, chillled
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat to 200F.

Using mixer with whisk, whip egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute.  Then increase speed and whip on medium-high until stiff peaks form, another minute or two.  Gradually add 1 cup sugar.

Scoop six 1/2-cup mounds of meringue onto parchment-covered baking sheet approximately 1 inch apart.  Make indention in mound with back of spoon.   Bake for 1 1/2 hours until meringues are dry and firm, then turn off the oven and leave them there to cool for another 2 hours, until they are completely dry and hard.  Serve or store at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Beat topping ingredients and spoon into meringues, serving with macerated fruit, like strawberries (or, the kids liked ice cream toppings! )

America's Test Kitchen Best Summer Recipes


Eton Mess
whipped cream
berries and/or jam

Crumble meringue cookies into whipped cream and layer with berries and/or jam.  Serve immediately.

3 large egg whites
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1) Preheat the oven to 200°F. Prepare a sheet of parchment paper by tracing a 9" round cake pan with a pencil to create a circle. Flip the paper pencil-side down and place on a baking sheet. You should still be able to see the circle outline through the paper.
2) In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
3) Combine the Baker's Special sugar and cornstarch and slowly add it to the whites, as you continue to beat. The mixture will thicken and turn glossy. Beat for about 1 more minute. Remove from the mixer and stir the lemon juice in by hand.
4) Spread the meringue on the parchment, staying within the circle. Use about 1 1/4 cups meringue to pipe a tall border around the edge of the meringue in the circle. When baked, this will form a ring to keep the cream and fruit from spilling over.
5) Bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and leave the door closed. Cool the meringue in the oven for at least another hour, or up to overnight. The pavlova will color slightly from white to light tan. Small cracks are normal.

from the Pavlova recipe of King Arthur Flour


Strawberry Risotto

1/2 cup low or non-fat strawberry yogurt (not the fruit-on-the-bottom kind)--make into yogurt cheese by straining in a sieve lined with wet paper towel/cheesecloth/paper coffee filter set over a jar for about 6 hours
2 1/2 cups low or non-fat milk
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup arborio rice
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Warm milk in saucepan and steep lemon zest in it for about 10 minutes, keeping the milk below a simmer.

Dissolve sugar in milk, then strain to remove zest.

Put rice in heavy saucepan and pour enough of hot milk to cover the rice. Stir over low heat until milk is absorbed. Keep adding hot milk and stirring until you've used all the milk and rice is plump and chewy, about 40 minutes.

Take risotto off heat and let cool a bit, stirring oven, for about 5 minutes. Stir in yogurt cheese and let cool completely. Stir in fresh strawberries

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, covered, until chilled through. Stir well before serving.

Diana Shaw, Almost Vegetarian


Strawberry Sorbet

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 quart strawberries, hulled
1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice

In heavy saucepan boil water and sugar for 5 minutes; do not stir. Add strawberries; cook 5 minutes more. Stir in lemon juice. Cool. Puree. Refrigerate until chilled. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze for approximately 25 minutes.


Strawberry Sodas
Per soda:
2 scoops strawberry ice cream
1 tablespoon or more strawberry syrup or jam
half-and-half or cream

Stir syrup/jam into seltzer, then add seltzer and cream. Delicious!


Strawberry Soda Ice Cream
Just saw this in Food Network Magazine and it reminded me of the Big Red soda we made at camp (sans strawberries)!  It was delicious.  We also made root beer ice cream at camp, which was also awesome.  This recipe, below, makes about the best strawberry ice cream I've ever had.
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
3/4 cup red cream soda (Big Red!) or regular cream soda
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and mashed

Whisk the condensed milk, half-and-half, cream soda, cream and strawberries in a medium bowl.  Churn in ice cream maker.  Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
Laura Duckworth, Food Network Magazine


Fresh Ice Cream
1 bag frozen fruit
1/2 C yogurt (plain)or vanilla
1/4 C sugar
3 TBsp water

Blend all ingredients in mixer until smooth and enjoy.

(Note: Rees and James love it! We've had strawberry, mango, pineapple and blueberry. Can't wait to try more. Trying to find coconut. If you see it, let me know!



Strawberry Freezer Jam

4 lbs strawberries, rinsed and hulled and crushed (or 3-12 oz bags unsweetened frozen, thawed in fridge until soft enough to crush)
1 1/2 cups sugar
plastic or glass freezer jars
1 packet of Ball No Cook Freezer Jam Pectin

Stir sugar and pectin together in a bowl until well mixed.

Add 4 cups crushed fruit. Stir 3 minutes.

Ladle jam into clean jars to fill line. Twist on lids. Let stand until thickened, about 30 minutes.

Freeze for up to 1 year. Thaw in fridge and enjoy up to 3 weeks.

Makes 5 half-pint jars.

Ball Freezer Jam pectin

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