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Monday, June 3, 2013

Strawberries in Their Springtime Glory!

Happy Monday eve my faithful readers. Today I'm bring you strawberries in many forms. They are one of my favorite springtime foods (because they remind me that summer is coming!), most dinner guests enjoy them, and they are almost always kid-friendly (minus those with allergies!). So I hope you enjoy the plethora of strawberry love.

Fresh Strawberry Meringue Cake
Southern Living, April 2012

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Parchment paper
  • Masking tape
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • (8-oz.) containers mascarpone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 4 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • Halved fresh strawberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven, and cool completely (about 10 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 250°.
  2. Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 2 (8-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn paper over; secure with masking tape.
  3. Process cornstarch, salt, toasted pecans, and 1/2 cup sugar in a food processor 40 to 45 seconds or until pecans are finely ground.
  4. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating at medium-high speed until mixture is glossy, stiff peaks form, and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes; do not overbeat). Add half of pecan mixture to egg white mixture, gently folding just until blended. Repeat procedure with remaining pecan mixture.
  5. Gently spoon egg white mixture onto circles drawn on parchment paper (about 1 1/2 cups mixture per circle), spreading to cover each circle completely.
  6. Bake at 250° for 1 hour, turning baking sheets after 30 minutes. Turn oven off; let meringues stand in closed oven with light on 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until surface is dry and meringues can be lifted from paper without sticking to fingers.
  7. Just before assembling cake, stir together mascarpone cheese and vanilla in a large bowl just until blended.
  8. Beat whipping cream at low speed until foamy; increase speed to medium-high, and gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. (Do not overbeat or cream will be grainy.) Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.
  9. Carefully remove 1 meringue from parchment paper; place on a serving plate. Spread one-fourth mascarpone mixture (about 2 cups) over meringue; top with 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries. Repeat layers 2 times; top with remaining meringue, mascarpone mixture, and halved strawberries. Serve immediately, or chill up to 2 hours. Cut with a sharp, thin-bladed knife.

Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 1 1⁄2 cups whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3⁄4 cup plus 1⁄3 cup sugar
  • 1 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  1.  Place milk in the top of a double boiler and bring just to a simmer over gently boiling water over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and 3/4 cup sugar in a mixing bowl. Lightly whisk 1/4 cup of the hot milk into egg mixture, then whisk egg mixture into remaining milk in top of double boiler. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat back of a spoon, about 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl; stir in heavy cream; refrigerate until cold.
  4. Combine strawberries, 1/3 cup sugar, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. Slightly mash strawberries, then stir into cream base and pour into an ice cream maker. Process according to manufacturer's directions.

Strawberry-Buttermilk Donuts
Waylynn Lucas, Fonuts

  • 1 ¼ cups (5 oz.) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup canola oil, plus more for greasing
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. white vinegar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  1. Heat oven to 350°. Combine flour, sugar, soda, and salt in a bowl; make a well in the center and set aside. Whisk oil, buttermilk, egg, vinegar, and vanilla in a bowl; add to well, and mix into a smooth batter. Stir in half the strawberries; set aside. Lightly grease a nonstick donut pan; spoon 2 tbsp. batter into each mold. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into donut comes out clean, 13–15 minutes. Invert donuts onto a baking sheet with a wire rack; let cool completely.
  2. Whisk remaining strawberries, confectioners' sugar, and 2 tbsp. water until smooth. Dip tops of donuts into glaze and return to wire rack until glaze is set.

Happy baking!

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