Tag Archives: strawberry

Strawberry Yum Yum Pie

Seasoned to Taste - Strawberry Yum Yum Pie

One thing to love about The South’s culinary history is the abundance of old-timey cookbooks and recipes. Collections of church-ladies’ hand-written cards complete with illustrations, Junior League “receipts” full of whiskey and gelatin, and faded, stained scraps of paper hidden inside cupboards or messy drawers. If the author of “Julie & Julia” had worked her way through a Southern church cookbook, I would have been way more impressed than Julia Child’s novel of a cookbook. Because these old recipes are crafted off generations of memory, without exact science and a good deal of guesswork on the part of the reader.

For example, “Add enough milk” and “Add dessertspoon butter” And “Sprinkle with xxxx sugar.” Part of the fun is guessing, or calling your Southern mother/grandmother/friend to help translate.

For Christmas, one of Grant’s sisters gave everybody a copy of an old family recipe from Ms. Nell Bennett, “Granny’s Strawberry Yum Yum Pie.” Description: “This is an old fashion way of making fruit pies (or cobblers). My! What flavor the juice in this pie has.”

And so it does.

Seasoned to Taste - Strawberry Yum Yum Pie

I made this for a small crowd recently, all who loved the cakey batter made soft with strawberry juices and caramelized bits around the edges. I probably took the baking a bit too far, but the recipe wasn’t exact – I shall learn next time.

Strawberry Yum Yum Pie

Ingredients (I altered for the modern reader):

  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 T cold shortening
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • milk (I probably used 1/2 c.)
  • 2 c. sliced strawberries
  • 2 T cold diced unsalted butter
  • 2 T sugar

Mix flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening to resemble coarse meal. “Add enough milk to make a soft batter” = use a wooden spoon to stir in up to 3/4 c. milk (I used whole milk), until it comes together like a cake batter. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle strawberries evenly over, then cover with 2 T sugar. Dot with butter.

Bake at 400 about 25 minutes, increasing the heat to 450 to brown the top, if needed, for the last 10 minutes. The batter rises to the top and forms a nice crust around the strawberries. Again, I let mine brown a little too far, but no matter.

Seasoned to Taste - Strawberry Yum Yum Pie

Set aside to cool to your liking, then scoop onto plates.

Seasoned to Taste - Strawberry Yum Yum Pie

It is wonderful at room temperature or even cold, but is so easy to warm up, which people seem to prefer. Would be fabulous with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top.

Seasoned to Taste - Strawberry Yum Yum Pie

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

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Strawberries and Cream Semifreddo

It’s not yet “officially” summer, but whew – the hot and humid South has once again dipped into the sticky sweetness we love to complain about.

But summer is what The South is all about. Front porches, women waving fans and glasses of iced tea clinking away.

Around our house, fireflies have begun bobbing in the dimming twilight, crickets and cicadas drone their strange song and our tomato plants are stretching toward the sun with plump green fruit swelling within.

For a nice cool-down dessert made to please a crowd, I recently made a strawberries and cream semifreddo, which is an Italian dessert that is pretty close to ice cream (half-frozen). Sliced, each serving is creamy and cold with pieces of sweet strawberries throughout. I like this dessert because it is so easy to make ahead and serve dinner guests – especially during summer months.

Adapted from Fine Cooking.

Strawberries and Cream Semifreddo

Ingredients:

For the semifreddo-

  • 1/2 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 c. heavy cream, chilled

For serving – 

  • 1 1/2 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3 T sugar

Line bread loaf pan with plastic wrap. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, cook sliced strawberries with 1/4 c. sugar, stirring, until berries soften and begin to break apart, 5-7 min. Set aside.

Set a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring 2 inches of water to simmer. Prepare another bowl with ice water for a water bath.

Put egg yolks and egg and remaining 1/4 c. sugar in medium bowl and whisk until well combined and pale yellow, about 2 min. Add reserved strawberry mixture and whisk to combine. Set bowl over simmering saucepan and whisk constantly until mixture is thick, 3-4 min. Set bowl in the ice water and whisk occasionally until cool, 5 min.

Meanwhile, whisk heavy cream until medium peaks form, 2-3 min.

Gently fold whipped cream into strawberry mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into the loaf pan, smooth surface, cover with plastic and freeze for at least 6 hours.

To serve, toss quartered strawberries with sugar and let sit until berries release some of their juices, 5-10 min.

Remove semifreddo from freezer and let it sit at room temp for 10 min. Invert onto cutting board, remove plastic and slice. Serve topped with quartered berries.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Strawberry-Riesling Granita

Granitas will my new favorite way to incorporate day-drinking into my summer weekends. This recipe happened on accident – originally intended to be a slushy, I added less wine than I should have, and then froze the whole thing, creating big flaky strawberry-Riesling ice crystals, perfect for combing with your fork and spooning into a glass.

Scratching the fork through the frozen mix, the crystals really reminded me of fresh snow as it glinted off the light. Lovely for the eyes and palate.

I was lucky enough to be in the presence of 12 pretty ladies last weekend as we were limo-taxied around Yadkin Valley wineries all day. I made it a big deal that I had to find a dry Riesling for this recipe, and the girls happily tried dozens of sips to help me find my one perfect bottle. I don’t normally like Riesling, so the dry variety was much better for me. I even enjoyed a glass of it while I was preparing everything.

Yummy for a light dessert or weekend treat. Especially great following a very spicy meal.

Strawberry-Riesling Granita

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 bottle of dry Riesling – or however much you can fit in your blender
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 c. halved strawberries
  • 2 T sugar

Combine all ingredients in blender and process until well blended. Pour into frozen ice cream maker and process for 30 min. (you could try to skip this step and instead just freeze, pulling it out every hour to comb with your fork). Transfer slushy mixture to square container, cover and freeze until hardened.

To serve, scrape up the crystals with your fork and spoon into glasses.

You will just get the faintest taste of wine, with the fresh berries.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Strawberry Scones

As I mentioned earlier, strawberry season has these fruits coming out of my ears. Strawberry-lobster risotto was one great way to use them, as was the strawberry-rhubarb pie I made last night, the strawberry jam I’m making later this week and these delicious fresh strawberry scones.

Searching for the right strawberry scone recipe, I found that many use dried strawberries, which confuses me. Fresh strawberries create a soft and moist scone that doesn’t resemble the thick, dry variety you can find at Starbucks. And why go dried and extra-sweetened when the real thing is perfect just as it is?

These were so yummy that Grant said they taste like strawberry cobbler – full of berries, and with a crumb that tastes like buttery cobbler. Just fabulous.

Fresh Strawberry Scones

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 c. AP flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • Turbinado sugar, for dusting
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. plain yogurt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 c. chopped fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 425 with racks in the middle. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In small bowl, combine egg, yogurt, milk and zest. Whisk to combine and set aside.

In food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter and pulse several times, until butter pieces are smaller than peas. Transfer to large mixing bowl.

Add strawberries to flour mixture and toss to coat.

Add wet ingredients to dry and fold together, mixing dough until it just comes together and all flour is hydrated.

Turn dough out on well-floured work surface and pat into large ball.

Cut into wedges or use muffin cutter (as I did), flouring the cutter very well between cuts. Place scones on baking sheet and sprinkle sanding sugar over the top (Turbinado).

Bake until slightly browned on top, about 15 min. Cool on pan a few minutes, then remove to wire racks.

Scones are best served slightly warm.

You can just see how tender and sweet they are from the pictures. Wonderful! Big thanks to my mom for helping me out – I was at Grant’s cabin when I wanted to make these, without Internet, so a quick call to mom got me the dictated recipe.

And the scones matched these pretty poppies we got at the farmers’ market on the way home!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Lobster and Strawberry Risotto

Can you spot the lobster peeking out from under the bright red berries?

It is strawberry season, and one day, Grant came home with way too many strawberries. We have had strawberry daquiries, strawberry-spinach salads, I’m making strawberry ice cream, strawberries over angel food cake, strawberry scones … how many ways can I use strawberries without its BFF, rhubarb? (Yankee food, btw)

A weird combination of seafood and fruit resides in this blog. And it somehow works. I never thought of strawberries as acidic, but in risotto, they provide the same juicy acidity that a tomato might, folded in just at the end. And with lobster? Who would have thought?

I found this first at Homerun Ballerina, where the blogger said she’d had similar dishes in other restaurants – lobster pairs well with fruit and slowly cooked rice, I guess.

While I did have fresh lobster, I wouldn’t cook it so long next time. I might sear it in butter at first and then stir in at the end, so it doesn’t get too overcooked. Either way, the lobster is a nice, sweet complement to the strawberries and savory risotto mixture.

Adapted from Homerun Ballerina:..

Lobster and Strawberry Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 2 lobster tails, thawed and pulled from shells using sharp scissors, then chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced into chunks
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup of arborio rice
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 T unsalted butter for the end

Bring chicken stock to a boil and then lower to simmer.

Heat large skillet over medium and add butter. Once sizzling, add onion and cook until transparent. Add lobster and cook 30 seconds. At this point you could remove the lobster to add back in at the end, but I just left it in (and it got a bit overcooked). Add herbs and spices. Add your rice and stir to coat, 30 sec. Add wine and stir until absorbed, then turn heat to low. Add simmering chicken stock by the ladle-full, stirring constantly until absorbed. Keep adding liquid and stirring until rice just loses its grainy middle but is not mushy, about 20-25 min (You may not use all your stock).

Off the heat, add the last Tablespoon of butter and strawberries. Season to taste and serve!

Homerun ballerina has you stirring in mascarpone at the end, but I chose not to. I even think a little shaved Parm would be good at the end. Very fun, and I love how the lobster is the same color as the strawberries!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Strawberry-Basil Shortcake

Strawberries! The farmers are waving pickers in by the droves as these red rubies grow juicy under the sun. Strawberries are a great way to celebrate spring, and this twist on the traditional strawberry shortcake is a wonderfully herbal surprise for your spring entertaining.

I changed Martha’s recipe a bit, adding more of the basil cream to the dough in the shortcake – GREAT idea. The cake is very buttery and flaky and delicious. I had never made it in one big cake before and it was very pretty! Quite the WOW factor when you serve. If you love basil and love strawberries, you obviously will love this dessert.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Strawberry-Basil Shortcake

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups cold heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons, for brushing
  • 20 large basil leaves, plus 1/3 cup small or torn basil leaves
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • Salt
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups sliced strawberries (1 pound 4 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  1. Bring cream to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bruise large basil leaves by hitting repeatedly with the dull side of a knife, and stir into cream. Remove from heat, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let steep for 25 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing solids to extract liquid. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 5 hours (I did mine a couple days ahead).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, the baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers. (The largest pieces should be the size of small peas.)
  3. Whisk together 3/4 cup of the basil cream, the eggs, and vanilla. Stir into flour using a fork until ingredients are moistened but not fully incorporated. (Do not overmix.)
  4. Turn dough out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pat into a 9 1/2-inch circle. Brush dough with 2 tablespoons cream, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
  5. Bake until light golden brown and just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely (or not, I was hungry!)
  6. Meanwhile, macerate strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar, plus more if needed, depending on sweetness, stirring occasionally.
  7. Toss berries with small basil leaves. Whisk basil cream with confectioners’ sugar in the chilled bowl of a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
  8. Mound basil cream on shortcake. Spoon berries with juice over top.

All you have left to do is enjoy, friends! xoxo

Strawberry and Pistachio Tart

Glorious spring days, where the grass seems to glow electric green and the daffodils trumpet a louder yellow … just makes you want to kick off your flipflops and get elbow deep in buttery pastry, silky egg cream and vibrantly red strawberries.

Adding smoky green pistachios creates a texture and color contrast that I loved in this traditional strawberry tart recipe. It offers a bit of earthy crunch to the super sweet filling.

The recipe is for smaller tartlets, but I made it in one large tart pan, which turned out fine. Just don’t expect your pieces to come out clean – the pastry cream is all goopy, like a thick pudding. Reading the reviews, the crust does indeed get quite hard to cut through with your fork –  which I think is good, because the crust needs to stand up to the soft custard inside.

Recommended for a crowd…

Strawberry and Pistachio Tart

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 tablespoons cold shortening
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 2 cups Pastry Cream, recipe follows
  • 2 pints whole strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/3 cup apricot jelly
  • 3 tablespoons shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a small bowl and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Put the flour mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and shortening and pulse about 10 times, or until the butter is in the size of peas. Add the ice water and process until the dough comes together. Dump on a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make pastry cream:

Pastry Cream

Ingredients:

  • 5 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups scalded milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.

With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t be alarmed when the custard comes to a boil and appears to curdle; switch to a whisk and beat vigorously. Cook, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes; the custard will come together and become very thick, like pudding. Stir in the vanilla, butter, and heavy cream. Pour the custard into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.

While the pastry cream chills, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out the dough and fit into your tart pan with removable side. Don’t stretch the dough when placing it in the pans or it will shrink during baking. Cut off the excess by rolling the pin across the top the pan. Line the tart shell with a piece of buttered aluminum foil, butter side down, and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and foil, prick the bottom of the shell all over with a fork, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

Before serving, fill the tart shell with the pastry cream. Arrange the berries decoratively on top of the cream. Melt the apricot jelly with 1 teaspoon of water and brush the top of the tart. I love the way it looks like a star burst!

Sprinkle with pistachios, if using, and serve.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Strawberry-rhubarb crumble

One little perfect thing

Introducing….The Rhubarb Challenge! Just like my Pumpkin Challenge (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), I have turned one of my favorite stalks into a challenge that will reward my sweet tooth. However, I don’t know if I’ll make eight recipes…maybe this will just be a one-month challenge. Between now and the end of June. Ready, Set, Go!

First up: strawberry-rhubarb crumble, which I found in a recent Bon Appetit. I like this recipe because the crumble has toasted hazelnuts in it. I would never have thought to put hazelnuts in a crumble, but the result was quite nice. Really made it special and not taste like every other strawberry-rhubarb thing. Not to discount the miraculous combination of strawberries and rhubarb.

What a splendid way to start my Rhubarb Challenge – we got a bucket of freshly picked strawberries at the farmers’ market, of which I used about four cups of the berries.

Hand-picked

You must serve this either warm with one scoop of vanilla ice cream, or cold out of the fridge – just you, the dish and a spoon.

Strawberry-rhubarb crumble

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 2/3 c. plus 1/2 c. sugar
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 6 T cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 c. toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 12 oz. rhubarb, ends trimmed, stalks cut crosswise and cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces

Preheat oven to 375. Butter baking dish.

Combine flour, 2/3 c. sugar, salt in medium bowl and whisk to blend. Add butter, rubbing with fingers until is sticks together in clumps. Mix in oats and nuts.

Place 1/2 c. sugar in large bowl. Add strawberries and rhubarb, toss to coat. Pour fruit into baking dish. Sprinkle oat topping over strawberry mixture, clumping together with your fingers. Pat the top down a little to form a crust.

Bake on a cookie sheet (it will bubble over!) until filling bubbles thickly and topping is crisp, about 45-50 min. Let cool 15 min. while you do something fun like finish watching “Rachel Getting Married.”

Juices worth burning your fingers to taste!

Spoon warm crumble into bowls and serve with ice cream.

You’ll find it’s a little soupy at first, but those juices will thicken the next day. Plus, they are delicious! Aren’t you excited for the next edition of the Rhubarb Challenge?! I am. Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Classic strawberry shortcake

One of life’s greatest treasures is the combination of strawberries and cream. There is just something about that slightly fuzzy, beaded berry that goes perfectly with a dollop of whipped cream sweetened with vanilla. The shortcakes are just the method for holding this beauty together.

Every spring, I get a craving for strawberry recipes. This weekend, it was for a classic dish that I’ve actually never made before. The cakes are done simply with flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cream, egg and butter. They bake up nice and firm, much unlike the spongy things you buy at the store. Paired with macerated strawberries and cream, you have a delicious dessert for a warm spring day like we had this weekend.

Strawberry shortcake, adapted from Best Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 package strawberries, cleaned and sliced
  • 6 T sugar
  • 2 c. flour
  • 5 T sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold, unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c. plus 1 T half-and-half
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix the strawberries and sugar, set aside to macerate.

Preheat oven to 425.

In food processor, mix flour, 3 T sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter and pulse until resembles coarse meal, 15 pulses. Transfer to medium bowl.

Mix beaten egg with half-and-half, pour into flour mixture. Combine with rubber spatula until large clumps form. Turn onto floured work surface and knead until it comes together. Pat dough into 3/4-inch thick rectangle. Using biscuit cutter or top of glass, cut six rounds. Place on baking sheet, brush with egg white and sprinkle with remaining 2 T sugar.

Bake until golden brown, 15-20 min. Cool on wire rack.

Meanwhile, whip heavy cream with sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.

To assemble, slice biscuits in half, spoon on strawberries and cream, topping with other half.

These get better as they sit because the juices make the biscuits softer. Enjoy, friends! xoox

Homemade Pop-Tarts

Thank you, Bon Appetit! Their April issue has a section on breakfasts, including strawberry “Pop-tarts.” The flaky crust is an incredible base for the sweet strawberry preserves trapped inside. A tasty reason why food can be so much fun! Once you have these, could you bear to go back to the original snack? (p.s. this is easy!)

Strawberry “Pop-Tarts”

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. plus 2 T flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 4 T ice water
  • 12 T organic strawberry preserves
  • Powdered sugar

In a food processor, add flour, salt and sugar. Pulse to combine. Add butter, pulsing until it resembles coarse meal. Add ice water by tablespoons, pulsing, until a moist ball forms. Gather dough into a ball, divide in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On floured surface, roll first disk out to 13×11-inch rectangle. Trim to 12×10 inches, then cut into six rectangles. Arrange rectangles on baking sheet. Roll out and cut second disk same as the first.

Spoon 1 1/2 T strawberry preserves in the center of the first batch of rectangles. Place the second dough rectangles on top and press with your fingertips to seal. Using a fork, indent all edges. Using a toothpick, dot each top a few times to allow air to escape. Freeze tarts on the sheet for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

Preheat oven to 375. Bake frozen tarts until golden, reversing after 15 minutes, 30 minutes total. Immediately transfer tarts to cooling rack and sift powdered sugar over the top.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

These things are yummy! And you can make cinnamon-swirl cookies with the crust dough leftovers…Enjoy, friends! xoxo