strawberry

Strawberry Waffles

Strawberry Waffles

These waffles would make a great breakfast. We actually had them for dessert last night. That’s the thing about waffles. They can be eaten any time of the day. I have been enjoying fresh strawberries in everything!!! The season for local berries is pretty short, so I try to enjoy them as much as possible, while I can.

This waffle recipe came about because I needed a dessert for dinner with a friend. It was a last minute dinner, so I didn’t have a lot of time. Waffles seemed like a great idea. They don’t take a lot of time to make, and  they highlighted the berries. My friend really liked them. I did, too.

I made the waffles with fresh strawberries in the batter. Then, they are served topped with more fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar. They were a perfect dessert. I could see topping them with ice cream or whipped cream, too. Any leftover waffles can be frozen.

For the fresh strawberry topping, you just combine fresh, sliced berries with some sugar. If you can make it ahead of time, the sugar draws juice out of the strawberries, kind of making its own sauce. I made the topping first, then popped in the fridge.

So here is my recipe. Enjoy!!

 

Strawberry Waffles

 

1 1/3 c. flour

2 T. sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 t. cinnamon

½ t. salt

2 eggs, separated

½ c. butter, melted

1¾ c. milk

2 t. vanilla

1 c. chopped fresh strawberries

 

Powdered sugar for topping waffles

Strawberry topping- recipe follows

 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Set aside. Separate the eggs. Set aside the yolks. Place the whites in a small mixing bowl. Beat whites until moderately stiff; set aside.  Combine milk, melted butter, egg yolks and vanilla in small bowl. Add to dry ingredient mixture and blend. Stir in berries. Fold stiff egg whites into mixture. Ladle mixture into hot waffle iron and bake. To serve, top with powdered sugar and strawberry topping. Makes 10-12 (4-inch) waffles.

 

Topping

1 qt. strawberries

½ c. sugar- or to taste

 

Wash and stem berries. Slice berries. Place in bowl and sprinkle on the sugar. Stir to combine and place in fridge until ready to use. Try to do this at least 30 minutes before using. That will give the mixture time for juice to be released from the berries.

Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade

I love this “pink” lemonade. The lovely blush comes from strawberries, not artificial color. The strawberries add more than just color- they add their wonderful flavor as well.

 

This is a great drink for hot summer days. Heck, I think its a good drink anytime. You don’t have limit yourself to lemonade. I have also made a pink limeade which is also very tasty.

The strawberry seeds will settle to the bottom of the pitcher- so be careful when pouring out the last bit of lemonade. No one wants a mouth full of seeds.

 

Here is the recipe. I have also included some helpful information when buying strawberries.

 

Strawberry Lemonade

7 c. water

1¼ c.   sugar

1¼ c. lemon juice

2-3 c. fresh strawberries, washed and stemmed

In a pitcher, combine water with sugar and lemon juice and stir until sugar dissolves. Place berries in blender and add about 2 cups of the lemonade. Process until strawberries are pureed. Add strawberry mixture to the remaining lemonade. Chill before serving. Serve over ice, garnishing with whole berries, if desired. Watch as seeds will accumulate on the bottom of the pitcher.

 

 

Shopping Tip

When berries are priced by weight or volume it is not always easy to decide which is the best price. If one store has quarts for $2 and another had berries for $2 per pound where would you get the better deal? Also, if a recipes calls for 4 cups sliced berries how many do you need to buy? Here are some approximate guidelines.

3/4 lb. = 1 full pint

1 1/2 lbs. = 1 full quart

1 1/2 lbs. = 4 cups sliced

1 lb. frozen = 1 1/3 c. whole berries

To help your berries last longer soak them in a water/vinegar solution for a few minutes as soon as you get them home. Then just drain and put in the fridge. This will keep them from getting mold as quickly. I use 1/2 cup of vinegar and 4 cups of water.

 

 

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Once you taste homemade jam, you will understand why it is worth the effort to make your own. Homemade jams, preserves and jellies are a great way to save seasonal fruits to enjoy all year. They also make nice gifts.

One of my favorite homemade jams is strawberry. I like the addition of some vanilla to my strawberry jam. I think it adds an additional layer of flavor, without covering up the natural beauty of the berries.

I try to make enough to last all year, but I end up running out quickly. This jam is great on toast, but also a nice addition to several desserts I make.

With local berries in season now, it is a perfect time to make a batch, or two.

In grocery stores, berries are often sold in one pound packages, not in quarts. A quart of strawberries should weigh 1 1/4 pounds. That should help you figure out how many berries you will need.

 

Here is the recipe.

 

Strawberry-Vanilla Jam

 

2 qts. strawberries, stemmed, washed and crushed

2 T. pure vanilla

1 package dry pectin

1/4 c. lemon juice

7 cups sugar

Combine  berries, vanilla, pectin and lemon juice in large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.  Add sugar and turn heat up to high. Stir often until mixture comes to a boil. Boil hard one minute stirring constantly. Ladle hot jam in to jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe rims and screw on lids comfortably tight. Place in boiling water bath and process 5 minutes. Remove to cooling rack, towel or wooden surface to cool. Makes 8-9 half pints.

Strawberry Liqueur

Strawberry Liqueur

With strawberries coming into season, this is the time of year to enjoy them. I have been eating strawberries in breakfasts, desserts and salads. I will be making strawberry jam and freezing berries, too.

Another way to preserve strawberries, is by making a liqueur with them.  It is pretty simple. Just combine berries with vodka and a small amount of powdered sugar. I use half gallon canning jars for this, but you could use any food safe container with a tight fitting lid. Let the mixture steep long enough for the berries to infuse the alcohol with their flavor. You can sweeten it later on, or even leave it unsweetened, if you prefer. I like to sip the liqueur as is, or serve on the rocks with a splash of club soda.

 

Strawberry Liqueur

 

3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

3 T. powdered sugar

3 c. vodka

1 c. simple syrup*

Sprinkle powdered sugar over berries and let dissolve. Pour over vodka and let steep 2 weeks. Crush berries and strain then filter. Add sugar syrup and mature 1 week. Makes 5 cups.

 

*Simple syrup is made from 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then cool. You will have 1 cup of syrup. You can sweeten your liqueur with honey, if you prefer. Watch when you substitute honey for sugar, as it is sweeter and stronger flavored. Better to use orange or clover honey. Add to suit your taste.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice Cream

We had this for dessert last Saturday and Amy said I need to post the recipe. Studded with plenty of berries this ice cream will put anything store-bought to shame. Feel free to add blueberries or raspberries, too.

Strawberry Ice Cream

2 c. chopped strawberries

1 c. sugar

1 T. vanilla

2 c. cream or  half and half or a combination. You can also use some milk or even almond or rice milk.

Additional sugar to taste

Place strawberries, vanilla  and sugar in saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and chill. Combine chilled berry mixture with cream. Add additional sugar if you like. Remember that once it is frozen the ice cream will not taste as sweet so make this mixture a little sweeter than you want the final product to be. How much sugar you add varies with personal taste and how sweet the berries are. Place in an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions. Once finished put in an air- tight container and place in freezer. Makes about 1 quart.

 

 

Amy’s Strawberry Chocolate Tart

Strawberry Chocolate Tart

Strawberry Chocolate Tart

I had an extra pie crust, some strawberries and a dinner with friends. I had said I’d bring the dessert. Since I made strawberry pie the day before for another friend I wanted to do something a little different. I decided to go with a tart. I also know the host of the dinner is mad for chocolate so I wanted to incorporate chocolate into the dessert. Here is the dessert I ended up with. It was a big hit and I plan on doing something similar with raspberries soon.

Amy’s Strawberry Chocolate Tart

1 pie crust- homemade or store bought*

1 cup chocolate chips- or 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate

2 T. butter

1 qt. fresh strawberries, washed and stem ends sliced off

Strawberry glaze:

1 c. strawberries, chopped

1/2 c. sugar, or to taste

1/4 c. water

1 T. cornstarch

Using a tart pan, roll out your crust and fit it into the pan- trim off any excess. Pre-bake your crust. To do this the prepared pie crust should be pricked all over with a fork. Cover the surface with foil and then pie weights. I use dry beans for my pie weights. Pre-heat oven to 400-degrees. Bake crust for 15-20 minutes. Check to be sure it doesn’t get too brown. Remove weights and foil and cool until ready to use. While crust is baking you can prepare the strawberry glaze. Combine 1 cup berries and sugar in small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook five minutes, mashing the berries a little. Strain out the solids and return the liquid to the pan. Combine the water with the cornstarch and add to the strawberry liquid, cooking until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat to cool.  Combine chocolate and butter in microwave- safe dish and microwave on high for 45 seconds to a minute . Stir mixture until smooth- you might need to nuke it a few more seconds. Spread melted chocolate over the bottom of the tart crust. Press the berries into the chocolate- pointed side up. Once the tart is full of berries spoon some of the glaze over the berries and chill at least an hour before serving. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. Serves 6.

Half and Half Dough*

This is a great crust for liquid fillings like custard type pies and fresh fruit pies.
¼ c. butter, room temp
½ c. shortening, room temp- you can use lard instead
¼ c. sugar
½ t. salt
2½ c. pastry or all purpose flour
1/8 t. baking powder
¼ c. milk
1 t. lemon juice
Cream together the first 4 ingredients until smooth. Mix together the flour and baking powder. Set aside. Combine milk with the juice and set aside. Stir ½ c. of the flour into butter mixture. Stir until smooth. Add a little of the milk, stirring until smooth. Add remaining ingredients alternately until finished. Dough will firm up once chilled. Chill at least 4 hours before using. Makes 2 crusts.

Cover crust with melted chocolate

Cover crust with melted chocolate

Arrange berries on top of chocolate

Arrange berries on top of chocolate

Spoon glaze over berries and chill tart before serving

Spoon glaze over berries and chill tart before serving

 

 

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Fresh Strawberry Pie

When I was a kid there was a local restaurant known for its strawberry pie. It became a favorite of mine back then and strawberry pie is still a favorite. It wouldn’t be June if I didn’t make at least one. A nice benefit over most other pies is that only the crust has to be baked- that takes just a few minutes- so you also don’t need the oven on for very long and the house stays cooler. I used a homemade crust, but use store bought or whatever crust you like best.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

1 9-inch pie crust, baked and cooled -recipe follows
1 qt strawberries (1¼ lbs), hulled
1 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
¼ c. water
1 T. butter
4 oz. cream cheese
Whipped cream, optional

Select about 25-30 berries to be placed in pie crust, large side down and set aside. Puree or crush remaining berries. Place in a saucepan with the sugar and bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch with water and stir until smooth. Add to the strawberry mixture and cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and gets clear. Simmer about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Set aside. Place cream cheese in a small bowl and mash with about a tablespoonful of the puree. Spread on the crust and arrange the reserved berries on the crust pointy side up. Put the largest berry in the middle and arrange the rest around it decoratively. Spoon the puree over the berries and allow the pie to cool down a little before putting in the fridge. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
Note: other berries can also be used including raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, or a combination. This recipe can also be used as a filling for tarts and tartlets.

Half and Half Dough*

This is a great crust for liquid fillings like custard type pies and fresh fruit pies.
¼ c. butter, room temp
½ c. shortening, room temp- you can use lard instead
¼ c. sugar
½ t. salt
2½ c. pastry or all purpose flour
1/8 t. baking powder
¼ c. milk
1 t. lemon juice
Cream together the first 4 ingredients until smooth. Mix together the flour and baking powder. Set aside. Combine milk with the juice and set aside. Stir ½ c. of the flour into butter mixture. Stir until smooth. Add a little of the milk, stirring until smooth. Add remaining ingredients alternately until finished. Dough will firm up once chilled. Chill at least 4 hours before using. Makes 2 crusts.

* this recipe makes 2 crusts- which makes me think you should just make 2 pies. If you don’t want to do that- the other half of the dough will freeze well for a few months. Seriously though, just make 2 pies!!!

Fresh Strawberry Crepes

Strawberry Crepes

Strawberry Crepes

With what looks to be a great strawberry season this year I am looking forward to a lot of cooking with and just eating of fresh strawberries. One of my favorite dishes is Strawberry Crepes. The crepes take a little time but the end result is so worth the effort. These can be served as a dessert, but also for brunch or breakfast.

Strawberry Crepes

1 recipe dessert crepe batter- see below

2 lbs.fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced

sugar to taste- start with 1/2 cup, then adjust to your taste

1 t. vanilla

1 t. grated orange peel

powdered sugar

whipped cream, optional

Make the crepe batter (recipe below) and cook the crepes. Toss the berries with the sugar, vanilla and orange peel. Place a crepe on your work surface and spoon berries down the middle. Fold up the sides of the crepe and move to serving dish. Repeat with remaining ingredients until you run out of something. I tend to put a lot of the berries in each crepe so I run out of berries and have left over crepes. How much fruit you put in each one is completely up to you and your taste. Dust filled crepes with powdered sugar and top with extra berries- if you have any left. You can also add some whipped cream on the top. I list it as optional- but I really think you’re going to want that whipped cream. Makes about 12 crepes, give or take.

Dessert Crepes

 1 c. flour

4 eggs

1 1/2 c. milk

1 T. sugar

2-T. orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice concentrate

1/4 c. butter, melted and cooled

 Mix all ingredients in blender (except butter) until smooth, scraping sides often. Add butter and blend well. Let stand for 30 minutes before using, or batter can be refrigerated, covered, over night. Beat again, just before using.Heat 6 or 7 inch skillet. Brush with butter or oil and pour in about 2 teaspoons of batter, tipping pan to cover bottom of pan completely with batter. Cook until edges start to brown, turn over and cook until lightly browned (about 2 minutes per side.) Crepes can be made day ahead or even placed between sheets of waxed paper and frozen. Makes 20.

 

Strawberry Shortcake “Sliders”

Strawberry Shortcake Sliders

Strawberry Shortcake “Sliders”

While we were enjoying these at dinner last night one of my friends said they looked like sliders and the name stuck. I made the shortcake base with cream scones and used an ice cream scoop to put the batter on the baking sheet. They ended up looking like little sandwich buns. Split and filled with sweetened strawberries, I replaced the top and added chocolate ganache and whipping cream to finish them off. They were a big hit. The scone was tender and not too sweet. Satisfying and light at the same time.

Strawberry Shortcake “Sliders”

The shortcakes
2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
½ t. salt
1 T. baking powder
1 1/4  c. heavy cream or 1 cup half and half
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sift together dry ingredients and gradually add cream to form soft dough. Stir mixture until it just holds together. Using an ice cream scoop place batter on baking sheet a couple of inches apart. You should get about a dozen. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden. Makes about 12. Cool on rack until ready to use.

The berries

2 lbs. strawberries, sliced thin

1/2 c. sugar, or to taste

Combine berries and sugar in medium bowl and place in fridge until ready to use. Berries should be in the sugar for at least a couple of hours and can even be prepped a day ahead to allow the juices to come out of the berries.

The ganache

1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips or 6 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 c. heavy whipping cream.

Combine both in double boiler or in microwave and heat until mixture is just warm enough to melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth.

The whipped cream – use whipped cream, sweetened or unsweetened according to your taste.

Assembly: Slice the caps off the tops of the shortcakes. Place a generous spoonful of the sliced berries on the bottoms of the shortcakes and spoon some of the strawberry liquid over them as well. Place the tops of the shortcakes back on and spoon on a dollop of the chocolate ganache. I let me get to room temperature so it didn’t drip down exactly as I had planned. Top with some whipped cream and serve. Makes about 12.

"sliders" with berries added

“sliders” with berries added

Ganache added

Ganache added

Ready to serve.

Ready to serve.

Strawberry-Vanilla Jam

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

I picked up some great berries. Making jam this weekend. I really like the addition of some vanilla to my strawberry jam. I think it adds a nice additional layer of flavor without covering up the natural beauty of the berries. I try to make enough to last all year but I end up running out quickly. This jam is great on toast but also a nice addition to several desserts I make.

Here is the recipe.

Strawberry-Vanilla Jam

2 qts. strawberries, stemmed, washed and crushed

2 T. pure vanilla

1 package dry pectin

1/4 c. lemon juice

7 cups sugar

Combine  berries, vanilla, pectin and lemon juice in large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.  Add sugar and turn heat up to high. Stir often until mixture comes to a boil. Boil hard one minute stirring constantly. Ladle hot jam in to jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe rims and screw on lids comfortably tight. Place in boiling water bath and process 5 minutes. Remove to cooling rack, towel or wooden surface to cool. Makes 8-9 half pints.

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