Savoring season’s sweet strawberries
April 15, 2014
Dear Roberta: I have a prolific strawberry patch in my garden and aside from freezing them and making jam I am hoping that you can share some of your favorite recipes with me.
Lucky you! I love fresh strawberries and look forward to this time of year very much.
When purchasing them I am very careful to buy organic only. Here are a few from my repertoire:
1 1/2 pounds (about 6 cups) fresh strawberries
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for dusting
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Make the sweetened strawberries: hull and quarter strawberries, toss in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup sugar.
Let stand until syrupy, tossing occasionally, at least 20 minutes (and up to one day, covered and refrigerated).
In a food processor, combine flour, butter, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Process until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add milk; pulse just until moistened, 4 or 5 times.
Do not over process.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; with floured hands, gently pat dough into a 4-by-8-inch rectangle.
Dust a large knife with flour; cut dough into 8 squares.
Transfer to a baking sheet; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.
Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes; cool on baking sheet.
To serve, split biscuits with a serrated knife; layer with berries and whipped cream.
Strawberry Pistachio Tart
All-purpose flour, for rolling
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios (In place of the pistachios, you could use an equal amount of raw almonds.)
2 tablespoons sugar
5 cups thinly sliced strawberries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup apricot jam, warmed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry to a 12-by-16-inch rectangle.
Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and trim to make a neat rectangle.
Freeze until firm, 10 minutes. With a fork, prick pastry all over.
To prevent pastry from rising, top with a sheet of parchment paper and stack another rimmed baking sheet on top. Bake until light golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine 1/4 cup pistachios and sugar and process until pistachios are finely ground.
Sprinkle mixture on pastry, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Bake until pastry is deep golden and pistachio mixture begins to turn golden, 15 to 17 minutes. Roughly chop remaining 1/4 cup pistachios. Remove sheet from oven; arrange strawberries on pistachio mixture, overlapping slices.
Brush berries and border with jam and sprinkle chopped pistachios on border. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Roberta DesBouillons is the in-house chef at Tess’ Kitchen Store in Grass Valley. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and used to own/operate Apron Strings Cooking School in San Francisco. Email questions to email@example.com.