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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nature's Bounty - Strawberries: Recipes

Summer fruit is terrific because it's so readily available - farmer's markets, the grocery store, "pick-your-own," etc.  It's easy to feel healthy when you can devour buckets of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, plums, cherries, etc. 

The problem with all the fruit is ensuring you eat it all before it goes bad! I purchased 5 pounds of strawberries and then panicked - what on earth was I going to do with it all?  I could have made strawberry soup, but the kids wouldn't eat that...and I could have made jam or something else rather exotic but they wouldn't have eaten that either so I stuck with what works - strawberry ice cream and strawberry shortcakes.  Naturally we've been snacking on strawberries for the past few days and I froze a strawberry puree for the next time I want to make strawberry ice cream.  So for now, I think I'm covered!

The ice cream was out of this world - so creamy and soft. If you don't have an ice cream machine, then get one.  There is nothing like real homemade ice cream - especially when you know what ingredients have gone into the bowl.

The shortcakes were good - not a traditional shortcake. Instead, these were made with oatmeal and brown sugar so they had a very dense texture.  They were soft once I added the whipped cream and strawberries - and because they were dense at the start, they didn't fall apart easily, which I liked very much.  And as you might be able to tell, I really enjoy the flavor of cinnamon and sugar together.

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
3 cups fresh strawberries
1/4 cup 2% milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a near boil - do not allow it to actually boil.  Small bubbles will appear around the edges. Turn off the heat and add the sugar, stirring well.  Allow the mixture to cool and transfer to a large bowl.  In a blender, combine the strawberries and the milk until strawberries are pureed.  Cool for several hours or overnight in the fridge.  Add the mixture to your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturers' instructions. Once it's finishing mixing, it is ready to serve but will be very creamy and fluffy.  If you prefer it frozen, freeze in a freezer proof container for at least two hours.

Strawberry Shortcakes
Makes 6

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick butter, cold, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup 2% milk

2 teaspoons cinnamon-sugar (50%-50% split)

2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup chilled heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix together oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the butter and with your fingers, rub butter into the mixture between index and thumb to allow it to become course meal.  Add milk and stir well.  Drop an even amount of dough onto the baking sheet - 2 in a row, spread about 2" apart. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.  Bake about 20 minutes, transfer to a rack and cool.  Slice in half - horizontally.

Combine the strawberries and the sugar together in a small bowl and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, mix well.

Using a hand mixer, beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar for about 3-5 minutes or until the cream hardens into whipped cream, with heavy peaks.

Spoon the cream onto the bottom of the sliced cake and top with berries.  Place the cake top on and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

1 comment:

Linda said...

It is my honor to be here to give my comment. This is wonderful.