When you reach the produce section of the supermarket or wander over to a fruit
stand, you can smell them before you see them. Strawberries are in season, and
the juicy, ruby-red berries are just crying out to be tasted. Once you’ve had
your fill of them fresh and straight off the stem, try out some of these recipes
that showcase the seasonal fruit in a variety of ways – from a tasty breakfast
muffin to a fruit leather snack or a fresh, fancy mini-tart.
Try to pick
nice-sized, bright red berries with no blemishes. Before storing them in the
fridge, inspect them to ensure that none are moldy, otherwise the mold will
spread quickly to the other berries. Store the fruits loosely packed, and
inspect them every day to ensure that no mold has grown. Use the berries within
three to four days after purchase, but don’t wash them until immediately before
you’re ready to use them.
Makes 8-10 muffins
✔ 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon
✔ 1⁄2 tsp. salt
✔ 2 tsp. baking powder
✔ 1⁄4 cup
light brown sugar
✔ 1⁄3 cup white sugar
✔ 1 cup chopped strawberries
✔ 1⁄4 cup
✔ 1⁄2 cup milk or soy milk
✔ 1 egg
✔ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
large bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and sugars.
Add the chopped strawberries and gently toss to coat in flour
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the
oil, milk, egg and vanilla. Stir gently until just combined. Do not
Fill each cup of a greased or paper-lined muffin tin with the
mixture – about half full.
Bake the muffins at 190ºC for about 25 minutes
or until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.
Often thought of as a kids’ snack, this unadulterated version of fruit
leather, or fruit roll-up, is one that even adults can enjoy. The limited number
of ingredients allows the strawberries to really shine, and you can adjust the
sweetness level of the mixture – with whatever sweetener you want – to your
liking. It takes a long stint in the oven to dry out, so plan it for a day when
you don’t need the oven for much else.
✔ Approximately 1 kilo
✔ 1 cup applesauce
✔ Optional: sugar or honey
Cut off the stems of
the strawberries and puree them in a food processor or blender (or with an
immersion blender) until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of puree (if there is any
left, use it for a sauce or smoothie). Mix in the applesauce.
mixture: If you use unsweetened applesauce, you may want to add some sweetener – sugar or honey – a
tablespoon at a time, to the mixture. Pour the mixture into a parchment
paper-lined baking sheet, about 25x40 cm. Dry out in the oven at 90ºC for 4 to 6
hours. When done, the mixture will no longer be tacky to the touch, you will not
leave a fingerprint, and it will pull away from the parchment easily. Slice into
rectangles (a pizza or pastry wheel works well) and roll
When you make every component of these
tartlets from scratch, it will take time and you can taste the result, so take
shortcuts at your risk. You can make tartlets of any size, depending on your
pans. A muffin pan or mini-muffin pan works well – you just need to cut a circle
large enough to cover the bottom and the sides of each cup.
which forms the filling for the tartlets, is a pastry cream lightened with
whipped cream for an irresistible flavor and texture. The pastry cream can be
made up to 2 days in advance (and the dough can also sit in the fridge for that
long). Once it is mixed with the whipped cream, it should be used the same day,
and the assembled tarts should be eaten as soon as possible. Though that
shouldn’t be a problem.Dough
✔ 21⁄2 cups (300 gr.) flour
✔ 1 cup (200
gr.) butter or margarine
✔ 1⁄2 cup (100 gr.) sugar
✔ 1 large egg Strawberry
✔ 2 cups (480 gr.) milk
✔ 1⁄2 cup (113 gr.) sugar, divided
✔ Pinch salt
✔ 1⁄4 cup (42 gr.) cornstarch
✔ 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla
✔ About 250 gr. fresh strawberries, pureed and strained
cups (285 gr.) whipping cream
✔ Fresh fruit for topping, sliced or chopped.
Strawberries and kiwis taste great together and look pretty, but any can be used.To prepare dough
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add
the egg and beat to combine, then add the flour and mix until no streaks remain.
Gather the dough together into one cohesive ball, wrap in plastic and
refrigerate at least 1 hour.To prepare cream
Mix together the milk,
half the sugar and the vanilla in a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium
heat. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining sugar, eggs and cornstarch until
smooth – make sure no lumps remain. When the milk comes to a boil, pour half of
it slowly over the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then return everything to
the pot and bring back to a boil, whisking constantly. When it comes to a boil,
remove from the heat and immediately pour into a clean bowl (have on hand before
you begin). Whisk in the strawberry puree until evenly distributed.
with plastic and refrigerate the pastry cream until chilled through – several
(If you don’t whisk constantly, you will likely end up with a very
sweet, very thick omelet. Not the desired outcome.) Remove the dough from the
fridge, and roll out on a well-floured surface (and continuously reflouring)
until about 1⁄2 centimeter thick. Using a cutter that is big enough to cover the
bottom and sides of your tart pans, cut as many circles as possible from the
dough and fit in to the molds, rerolling as necessary. Prick the bottoms of the
shells with a fork several times and put them in the freezer for about 20
minutes. Then bake the shells at 190º C for 12-15 minutes until just starting to
brown. Let cool.
Whip the whipping cream until it holds soft peaks.
Remove the pastry cream from the fridge, whisk well to break up any lumps, and
fold in the whipped cream. Spoon or pipe the cream out evenly among the cooled
tart shells, and top with the fresh fruit.