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Posts Tagged ‘strawberry’


Strawberries are probably my favorite fruit. Or maybe blueberries. Either way, I overdose on all things strawberry when I see huge spreads of them at the farmers market.

At some point, I decided I wanted to try them in some cake and I found a recipe on Smitten Kitchen that I edited a bit. This one combined juicy strawberries with a light yellow cake, and my favorite parts were the slightly browned and crispy edges.

I imagine you could substitute all kinds of fruit for the strawberries, and I might just try it again with some peaches or nectarines.

Strawberry Cake

1 stick butter

1 1/2 cups (188 grams) flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 egg

zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1 carton strawberries, hulled and halved (or quartered depending on the size of your strawberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line bottom of 10″ round pan with a circle of parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt in a bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar (reserving a tablespoon or two) until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg, milk, and vanilla and combine. Add the dry ingredients slowly, until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Arrange the strawberries cut side down around the pan, pushing into the batter slightly. Sprinkle with reserved sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the edges have started to brown. Let it cool completely before trying to flip and remove from pan.

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Fruit tarts are probably my favorite dessert ever. I remember birthdays when I wanted a fruit tart instead of cake. This one has a flaky crust and pastry cream that isn’t too heavy. Plus, I found some delicious strawberries at the farmers market. I thought about just strewing them on top stems and all because they were so beautiful, but who wants to de-stem strawberries as they eat a tart? It’s one thing to create beautiful pictures, but my goal is to make food I want to eat above all. So, standard strawberry formation.

I love when the summer fruit starts coming in, there are endless desserts to make. When they look this pretty, you can’t go wrong!

Strawberry Tart

1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved

1 1/4 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 9-inch pie crust from this recipe

Roll out the dough into a round large enough to fit into your tart shell with some excess. Don’t pull it because it will shrink more, just coax it into the corners and cut off any excess. Place a piece of buttered foil into the shell and put dry beans or rice into it to hold the shape while it bakes (it’s called blind baking). Bake at 375 for 10 minutes and then remove the beans and prick with a fork to allow air out if it puffs up. Bake for another 20 minutes until it starts to brown. Remove and cool.

For the pastry cream, bring the milk to a boil. In a bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch with a whisk. Slowly add a bit of the hot milk and whisk vigorously to temper the eggs. Pour into the remaining milk in the pan and continue to whisk until it thickens, about 10 minutes. Pour through a strainer if you wish, and add the vanilla and any additional flavorings you wish (cognac or brandy are nice). Add the butter and whisk until incorporated and melted. Refrigerate until cool.

Pour the pastry cream into the cooled shell. Arrange the strawberries however you want on top. Optional, you can heat some apricot jam with a little water until a little runny and brush it over the top.

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I’m pretty sure my favorite pie of all-time is strawberry rhubarb, but it’s hard to choose. Sometimes though, I just don’t want to go to the trouble of making dough and rolling it out. This was one of those days. And then I remembered a blackberry fool recipe I saw somewhere and thought I would create something similar.

A fool is a British dessert that consists of a fruity, jam-like mixture folded into whipped cream. It’s light and rich at the same time, and the leftover strawberry rhubarb mixture was just fantastic on some vanilla ice cream the next day.

Strawberry Fool

4 rhubarb stalks, chopped into 1″ pieces

1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 cup water

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup sugar

1 pinch salt

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Combine the strawberries, rhubarb, water, sugar, lemon, and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook together for 15 minutes, until the fruit has softened and broken down. It should look like jam. Refrigerate for at least a couple hours.

Beat the cream with the powdered sugar until stiff peaks have formed. Layer alternating with the fruit mixture into glasses or fold together gently before spooning into glasses.

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I suppose the most memorable recipe I’ve posted in the first year of Meatballs & Milkshakes has to be my Shaved Asparagus Salad because it won Best Spring Vegetable recipe on Food52 at this time last year. They have been nice enough to spotlight me here and I can’t say enough good things about their wonderful site.

For Christmas, the Feast of the Seven Fishes was definitely another memorable moment– I made seven fish dishes in one night! And we had delicious chocolate pudding to end the night, it doesn’t get much better.

Some of the recipes that really stick out in my mind over the year are obviously pastas. This linguine bolognese that I made for Valentine’s day was unbelievable and it still makes my mouth water.

This tagliatelle with shrimp and cabbage was a recreation from one of my favorite restaurants, and it got some press over on Serious Eats, another of my favorite blogs.

Of course, it all started with my homemade pappardelle with duck ragu. You can see that hopefully my pictures have improved a bit…the recipes were yummy even then though!

And of course, I made my first pork shoulder, slow roasting it and shredding it for tacos which were a big hit. Who knew pork could be so good!

While we’re talking meat, I can’t forget this beef stew that I made…it was by far the tastiest beef stew ever with amazingly delicious carrots. They soaked up the beef juices are were almost better than the beef itself. Almost.

And of course we can’t forget my obsession with the Flour cookbook this year. I made all sorts of cookies from it, including these yummy oatmeal raisin cookies

and chewy chocolate cookies. I’ve almost baked my way through all the Flour cookies, and they’ve all been amazing. Definitely a go-to cookbook that I recommend buying.

As far as other desserts go, there were a lot of pies but the ones I’m looking forward to again most are these: the mini strawberry rhubarb pies that were great for individual servings straight from the freezer, and the quick berry pie. Both are great for summer and I’m hoping it will be another good one!

I’m off to Italy for a week, but I’ve left a couple posts for you while I’m away….and hopefully I’ll bring back some new Italian inspiration! Bring on the broccoli rabe and orecchiette!

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Well, after making the mini pies, I had some strawberries and rhubarb left over. I usually put some sort of fruit in my quinoa (peaches, pineapple, mango, grapes, etc), so I thought I’d give it a try.

Strawberry Rhubarb Quinoa

1 cup quinoa

2 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup white wine

1 stalk rhubarb, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

6 strawberries, chopped

1 shallot or 1/4 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped parsley or basil

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt to taste

Saute shallot in olive oil until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add some salt to help it break down a little. Add the quinoa and toast in the olive oil for a minute. Add the wine and chicken stock and let it reduce. When 2/3 of the liquid has evaporated, add the rhubarb and strawberries and continue cooking until the liquid is gone. Add the parsley and adjust seasoning if necessary.

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These are individual-sized strawberry rhubarb pies, I decided to make them in a muffin pan so that I could easily freeze a bunch for later. All I will have to do is defrost them and put them in the oven to warm up. Homemade pie dough is obviously better, but I’m not averse to using frozen sometimes if it’s the difference between baking and not. Sometimes on a weekday night, I just don’t have the time and energy for making dough and letting it chill, so frozen is perfect.

Mini Strawberry Rhubarb Pies

2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

1 pint strawberries, hulled and chopped

2 tablespoons corn starch

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 recipe pie dough, below

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl and mix to incorporate corn starch and honey into the fruit juices. Roll out pie dough making sure to flour the board so that it doesn’t stick. Cut out 8 4″ circles and 8 3″ circles (or as many as you can fit).

Line the muffin cups with strips of parchment paper to help remove them after they have baked. Put the 4″ circles in the muffin pan and flatten out the overlapping parts.

Fill the cups with the fruit mixture and put the 3″ pieces on top. Pinch together with the bottom pieces all the way around to seal. Cut a slit into each top to let steam escape. Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until they are browning on top. Let cool for 10 minutes and then use the strips to help remove from the pan.

Pie Dough

1 stick of butter, diced and chilled

1/2 cup vegetable shortening, chilled

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

6-8 tablespoons water

Sift together the dry ingredients. Put the butter and shortening in the food processor and add the dry ingredients. Pulse to incorporate until the pieces are the size of peas. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together in a ball. You may not need to use it all. Dump it out onto a floured board and form a disk. Put in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut in half to roll out.

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I can’t resist making something with strawberry and rhubarb when I start to see rhubarb in the stores. It’s my favorite kind of pie and I can’t decide how I like it best. Last night I decided to try a crisp. And after I had all the fruit ready, I realized the oats were all gone. What to do? Try some crumbled amaretti on top? Then I vaguely remembered seeing a recipe involving toasted oats added at the end to make it healthier and reduce the butter. I figured granola is basically the same thing, so why not try that? How bad could it be with strawberries and rhubarb?!

Healthy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 rhubarb stalks, chopped
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons flour or whole wheat flour
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granola, toasted
2 tablespoons butter

Combine the strawberries, rhubarb, cornstarch, flour, lemon juice, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of the honey together. Top with the toasted granola and dot with pieces of butter. Drizzle remaining honey over the top. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until bubbling around the edges and golden on top. Top with vanilla ice cream if you wish.

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