I just saw the first batch of local strawberries in the supermarket and decided I had to share some more from my vast file of recipes for our beautiful B.C. berries.
Though our cold, wet spring means that this may not be the best crop ever, our local strawbs will still have way more flavour than the imports we get in the stores year-round. So go buy a basket or two while they're available and get cooking. If you're buying your berries by the pound, one pint = 12 ounces; one quart (two pints) = 1½ pounds.
EASY NO-BAKE STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE
1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
1 ?3 cup melted butter
1 250-gram package Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 ?3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise
1 ?3 cup seedless raspberry jelly
Crust: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup sugar and melted butter; mix well. Press the mixture into a nine-inch pie plate.
Filling: With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually stir in the condensed milk until thoroughly blended, then stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Turn mixture into the piecrust; chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours. Just before serving, arrange the strawberries on top of the pie in concentric circles. Melt the raspberry jelly in a small saucepan with a little water to make it a pourable consistency; brush jelly over top of the strawberries. Makes eight servings.
STRAWBERRY YOGURT SWIRL POPS
1½ pints of strawberries, hulled
1 ?3 cup plus ¼ cup sugar, separate use
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups vanilla yogurt (preferably not fat-free)
You'll also need 10 frozen pop molds (½ cup capacity)
Place strawberries, 1 ?3 cup sugar and lemon juice in a blender and purée for three minutes until very smooth.
In a medium bowl, stir the remaining ¼ cup sugar into the yogurt until sugar dissolves. Fill each pop mold with the strawberry and yogurt mixtures, alternately spooning them into each mold to create a swirled pattern. Place the tops on the molds and insert sticks.
Freeze until frozen solid, at least six hours. Dip molds in warm water for a few seconds to remove pops. Makes 10 pops.
Desserts don't get much easier than this.
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
½ cup sour cream
1 Tbsp Grand Marnier or Amaretto liqueur
2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
With an electric mixer, beat together the cream and sugar in a large mixing bowl until thick but not stiff. Add the sour cream and beat until mixture is thoroughly combined. Continue to beat while gradually adding the liqueur. Divide strawberries between six dessert dishes, reserving six perfect berries for garnish.
Spoon the cream mixture over the berries and top each serving with one of the reserved berries. Serve immediately.
Makes six servings.
CROISSANT FRENCH TOAST WITH FRESH STRAWBERRY SYRUP
A delicious way to start a summer Sunday.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1½ cups mashed fresh strawberries French Toast:
2 ?3 cup homogenized milk or light cream
1 ?3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 large eggs
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
¼ tsp cinnamon
4 large day-old croissants
2 Tbsp butter
Icing sugar and additional sliced strawberries
To make the syrup, bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually add the strawberries, then return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
For French toast, whisk together the first seven ingredients (milk through cinnamon) and pour into a shallow dish. Slice the croissants in half lengthwise.
Dip the croissant halves into the egg mixture, turning to coat thoroughly. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add four of the croissant halves and cook about two minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Repeat procedure with the remaining butter and croissant halves. Top each serving with some sliced berries and sift icing sugar over top; serve with strawberry syrup.
Makes four servings.