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Cooks Corner

By By Lisa Tindell
I love strawberries! And so do millions of other people around the world. And, thankfully, it's the perfect time of year for a beautiful harvest.
In our Southern region, March and April are the peak times for harvesting the delectable fruit. That was certainly noticeable in the past week or so by the number of strawberry festivals and fairs across the Southeast. I hope you all got a chance to attend one or can attend one that's upcoming. There are always plenty of good fruits to go around. And, my, my at the whipped cream!
I have a wonderful friend who is a, I guess, a nut about strawberries. She loves them anyway you fix them. I've been to her house on a Friday evening as she was preparing the evening meal. It might be the dead of winter, but she's cooking down strawberries on the stove so that her family can enjoy "fresh" strawberries preserves with the supper biscuits. I'm so glad she invites me for dinner now and again!
Anyway, if you have attended a festival recently or plan to attend one soon, chances are you'll be bringing home some fruits of your own. Remember that these perishable fruits won't keep for a few days until you feel like messing with them. You better be ready to start cleaning and preserving, canning, or freezing as soon as you pay the man at the counter.
If you're looking for some way to use up a few of those berries, I certainly hope you'll find a few of these recipes helpful.
Strawberry Cobbler
One-half cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup water
3 cups strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons butter, diced
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 and one-half teaspoons baking powder
one-half teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
one-half cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a two-quart baking dish. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and hot. Stir in strawberries, and remove from heat. Pour mixture into the baking dish, and dot with two-tablespoons butter. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in cream. Mixture should be fairly soft. Spoon on top of berries. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven.
Strawberries Romanov
One-half cup sour cream
1 and one-half cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup sweetened whipped cream
one-fourth cup orange flavored liqueur, or to taste
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
2 sprigs mint leaves, for garnish
shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish
In a medium bowl, stir together the sour cream, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. Gradually stir in the orange liqueur. Divide the berries between two parfait glasses, and spoon the cream mixture over them. Garnish with mint leaves and shaved chocolate.
Creamy Strawberry Pie
One refrigerated pie crust
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
one-third cup sugar
one-half tsp. almond extract
1 cup whipping cream
2 pints (4 cups) strawberries
one-half cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp. shortening.
Prepare and bake crust as directed on package. Cool completely. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and almond extract beating until well blended. In a small bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Spoon into cooled, baked shell. Arrange strawberries pointed side up over cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate while preparing garnish. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Drizzle over strawberries and cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate at least one hour or until set. Store leftovers (if there are any) in the refrigerator.
Note: You can use commercially prepared whipped topping if you like. The whipping cream will give the pie a richer taste and texture but the store-bought kind will help to speed things up a bit for this great pie!
I hope that you are enjoying strawberry season. If you have any recipes you'd like to share with others using strawberries or any other locally grown fruit or vegetable, please let me know. I'd love to hear about your cooking and share with other cooks. Thanks for reading the Cook's Corner! I enjoy hearing your comments. If you'd like to email your recipes or comments, please send them to me at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com. I'd love to hear from you.
If you have extra strawberries, just give me a call! I think I could figure out "something" to do with them.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!