Tag Archives: strawberries

May is Fresh Strawberry Month

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

strawberry-bread.jpegWhile the month of May is designated Fresh Strawberry Month, you can hardly miss it as you grocery shop.  We love strawberries and eat them plain, on ice cream, in smoothies, yogurt parfaits, on cereal – any and every way.

Here are some past blogs that highlight this favorite fruit.  Almost all can be made ahead and only one requires assembly the same day.

There’s something here for every part of the day so enjoy fresh strawberries at the height of their season.

Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Granita

This is an easy dessert that goes especially well with grilling.  The best part about it is it is waiting in the freezer so you don’t have to miss a minute of the get-together.

Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Torte  Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Torte

An intense chocolate mousse covers oodles of fresh strawberries sitting on a chocolate cake base.  This can be made days ahead.

Chocolate Strawberry Pie chocolate-strawberry-pie.jpeg

This is one of the easiest pies you can make.  Just bake a pie crust, fill it with whole strawberries and top it with chocolate. All the perks of chocolate covered strawberries but easier to eat – and better with the pie crust.  Bake the pie crust the day before or early in the morning, then fill it and top it the day you serve it.

Strawberry VerrinesChocolate-Strawberry-Verrines.jpeg

A layered dessert with chocolate mousse, pastry cream, and fresh strawberries.  These can be made ahead for an unusual treat.

Cream Biscuits with Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam strawberry-jam.jpeg

The biscuits are the best ever but the refrigerator jam is the real star here.  As you can see I love the combination of strawberries, balsamic vinegar and black pepper.  I think you will too in this jam.  It is very quickly made, ladled into jars and stored in the refrigerator for months.

Strawberry Bread 
strawberry-bread.jpeg

The strawberry quick bread included in this quartet tastes of fresh strawberries since that is what is used.  I recommend the food coloring or the bread comes out a rather dull off color.

Vanilla Mousse Torte with Strawberries

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Vanilla Mousse Torte with Strawberries With Mother’s Day upon us, this Vanilla Mousse Torte with Strawberries is a perfect do-ahead dessert to honor her.  It is light, full of flavor, not too sweet, beautiful, easy to make and almost no bake.  I’m not sure what more could be asked of a dessert.

Chocolate mousse is a given, but a good Vanilla Mousse is hard to find.  Most are based on white chocolate which is not my favorite chocolate. I find it lacking in any distinctive flavor, although I know many will disagree, including my husband.

To up the flavor, I used my pastry cream, added a bit more vanilla and lightened it with whipped cream before pouring it over fresh strawberries on a vanilla wafer base. Continue reading

Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Granita

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Strawberry GranitaUmmm, frozen strawberries on a hot summers day. What could be more comforting? How about an easy strawberry granita with a bit of black pepper and balsamic vinegar to add a bit of zip to it.

The use of white balsamic vinegar as opposed to the normal dark is to keep the strawberries a vibrant red. The main difference between the white and dark balsamic vinegars is the grapes used and the amount of aging. Italians have been making balsamic vinegar for a thousand years. Balsamic vinegar is sweeter than the more robust vinegars. Some dark balsamic vinegars are aged up to 100 years in different barrels for a complexity of taste. However,  these balsamics are very expensive, just like a fine wine and are used as a finishing vinegar and not as an ingredient. All dark balsamics are thicker and sweeter than the white balsamic which can be aged in barrels or stainless steel tanks for a shorter amount of time. The white is usually used when you don’t want to discolor the food with which it is being used as would dark balsamic vinegar.

Granita is an Italian specialty and is simply an ice that is scraped with a fork to fluff it up and make it melt in your mouth. Any fruit such as nectarines, pineapple or peaches can be substituted for the strawberries. Just make sure the fruit is good and ripe for the best taste.

The use of black pepper with strawberries has become a classic and enhances the taste of the strawberry.

This recipe was originally posted from my TV series in 2015.  It is the perfect finish for the last summer holiday dinner.

Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Granita
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar (130 grams or 4 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
4 cups sliced strawberries

Combine the water and sugar in a small pan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Add the vinegar and black pepper. Cool.

Place the sugar syrup and strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a 9×9 inch square pan, preferably glass. Freeze for several hours until it’s about 3/4 frozen. Scrape with a fork to fluff it up.

Store in the freezer.

Yield: 1 quart

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Rhubarb Cream Tart with Strawberry Sauce

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Rhubarb Cream TartThis entire Rhubarb Cream Tart entails no baking.  I was excited to find it in my files from many years ago. I came up with this when I first started writing about desserts.   I love rhubarb as does my husband and when coupled with a strawberry sauce,  it is the perfect summer delight.

The only caveat with rhubarb is the leaves are poisonous if eaten because of the oxalic acid.  However, this has been disputed recently but I don’t intend to test it.  Most rhubarb I have seen in stores have the leaves cut off to avoid any possible problems.  If not, just cut them off and throw them away. Continue reading

Scones with Cranberry Strawberry Jam

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Scone with Cranberry Strawberry JamAfter last week’s marathon recipe, Scones with Cranberry Strawberry Jam is a walk in the park. The scones are easily made and the jam requires no canning if kept in the refrigerator or freezer.  The combination of the cranberries and strawberries makes a sweet-tart topping for the scones, toast, biscuits, or pancakes and waffles. A jar of the jam makes a perfect hostess gift.

These scones are endlessly variable.   They are light, moist and very buttery tasting despite the fact they have only three tablespoons of butter. Of course, the liquid used is heavy cream.

The scones should be served close to baking for the best experience. But they are certainly good any time of the day, even the next day. Since they can be frozen, either baked or unbaked, warm scones can be had any time of the day. This is a wonderful breakfast with friends or part of a brunch.  They can be made larger or smaller as desired. Continue reading