Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Happy National Strawberry Day!

on February 27, 2014

20140227-142746.jpgThe fields won’t be open for a few more months, but that’s OK.  Just thinking about strawberry season makes me happy.  I want you to be happy too, so here are a couple recipes to help nudge you in that direction.

Strawberry Muffins (Adapted from Granny’s Muffin House by Susan Ashby)

I have been making these muffins for 20 years -the H loved these; couldn’t even wait a couple minutes for them to cool.  Can’t tell you how many times he burnt the skin off the roof of his mouth.  The original recipe didn’t call for a crumb topping, but I found that it raises these from fantastic to superb.  It’s also a good way to deal with berries that are looking a little sad – with all the sugar and butter and cinnamon, no one will ever notice that you have slight-less-than-perfect fruit (this is my own way of not wasting fruit that’s past it’s prime – throw it into a muffin)

For the Topping:

¼ cup cold butter
¼ cup sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. cinnamon

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Cut in the butter to make crumbs and set aside.

For the Muffins

1 ½ cups chopped strawberries
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
¾ tsp. cinnamon
2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
 ½ cup whole milk
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup butter, melted (I used salted)
½ cup light brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper cups.

Toss the strawberries with the cinnamon & sugar and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add the remaining ingredients and still gently until just moistened.

Fold in the strawberries.

Fill the muffin tins with the batter and add the crumb topping.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes (check after 15 minutes).

Makes 12 muffins

 

Eaton Mess (from Nigella Lawson’s  “Nigella Express”

I don’t know why it’s call Eaton Mess and I’ve had several versions, but this one is my favorite.  I love this stuff – OK – I could eat this day after day after day after…you get the picture.  I’ve also made it with blackberries and raspberries – I don’t mind the seeds.  Seriously, this is so freakin delicious I’m drooling just typing this.

  4 cups strawberries –rinsed and very well drained
2 tsp. vanilla sugar or granulated sugar
2 tsp. pomegranate juice (actually you can use orange juice and it’s lovely)
2 cups whipping cream
4 small packaged meringue nests (or one container vanilla meringue cookies)

Hull and chop the strawberries. Add to a large bowl and then add the sugar and juice (if you don’t have any vanilla sugar, add ¼ tsp vanilla extract at this time).  Let the berries sit while you whip the cream.

Whip the cream in a large bowl until it’s thick, but still soft and fluffy.  Crumble two of the meringue nests (or about 8 cookies) into the whipped cream and fold gently.

Remove about ½ cup of the strawberries and fold the meringue-cream mixture into the remaining fruit.

Spoon the creamy mixture into serving glasses and top with the remaining strawberries.

 

Strawberry Mousse – adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook

So here’s the thing – the egg yolks may not get completely cooked, so if you’re nervous about undercooked eggs, then this is not the recipe for you.  I don’t care because I like living on the edge that way. 

 2 ½ pint baskets strawberries, stemmed, washed and well drained.
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (really, you can’t get away with the bottled stuff here)
1 Tbsp. Unflavored gelatin
6 Tbsp. Boiling water
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. Cointreau (or orange juice)
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
Additional whole strawberries for garnish

You’re going to need a double boiler, so get it set up and bring the water to a simmer.

Combine the strawberries, lemon juice and gelatin in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth (I don’t know if you could make this in a blender or not – maybe if you have one of those fancy-schmancy ones).  Pour in the boiling water and process again, briefly.  Let the  mixture cool to room temperature.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until pale yellow and thick.  Stir in the Cointreau or orange juice and beat for another minute.  Pour the egg mixture into the top of the double boiler; stir until slightly thickened and hot to the touch.  Cool to room temperature.

Combine the strawberry and egg mixtures and chill until just beginning to set.

Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold gently into the chilled strawberry mixture.  Spoon into dessert glasses and garnish with a fresh strawberry.

This stuff makes like 8 – 10 servings.  I tried cutting it in half, but somehow it never came our right – not sure if it was the gelatin or what.  Anyway, make it for a crowd or just decide to serve really large portions.

Strawberry Butter – Adapted from the Frog Commissary Cookbook

This stuff just screams for a biscuit or scone or whatever.  So sublime…

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup powdered sugar
½ lb. (2 sticks) very soft butter

Puree the berries and vanilla in a food processor.  Add the sugar process again.  With the processor running, add the butter in very small bits, then whiz again until well blended (about 30 seconds or so).

This stuff is going to look really curdled at first, but don’t panic.  It will come together.  Pack your lovely butter in a nice crock, or even small wide-mouth canning jar.  Or, you can shape into a log wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

 


7 responses to “Happy National Strawberry Day!

  1. Sis says:

    yummy! What beautiful strawberries.

    • Maeve says:

      Hi Sis. I can’t believe there were some nice ones in the store. Usually they’re pretty much like cardboard this time of year. I’m hoping the FL crop weren’t too damaged by this awful cold we’ve seen this winter.

  2. Elspeth says:

    The fields won’t be open for a few more months, but that’s OK.

    Not down here, Maeve!! In fact the first batches of FL strawberries are starting to hit the stores. They’re a bit more pricey than they’ll be in April and May, but we’re seeing them.

    We’re going to pick some strawberries at a farm next month, and then I’m gonna make me some jam.

    • Maeve says:

      OK – I’m running out to the store tonight to see if anyone has some FL berries (no offense to the West Coasties, but I think the East Coast berries are the best).

      Maybe you’ll share your jam recipe – haven’t ever made any before – for that matter, I haven’t canned anything, but was thinking that this might be the year I learn a new life skill. I know that Sigyn cans everything so I’m thinking I might dig through her blog for some her wisdom.

  3. FuzzieWuzzie says:

    Berries? What a happy thought! It’s still too early here. the snow still hasn’t melted.

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