|6/17/2022 11:59:00 AM|
Strawberries in summertime
by JEFF NORTONHot temperatures in June can only mean one thing: it’s strawberry season!
Strawberries are my favorite fruit, and there’s almost no combination or recipe that I don’t love with the seeded berries. They also make an absolute perfect treat for my dogs as well.
Many strawberry recipes require you to get rid of the tops, or greens, of the strawberry, but Benny and Jett love that part as a little treat. And to try not to overload them with too much sugar, I’ll freeze the tops after giving them each a couple, and then on a hot day, you throw it in their food and they just devour it. Like little strawberry ice cubes for their food!
But, I digress. This is a food column for humans, and not dogs, so we’ll focus more on my favorite recipes and not Benny and Jett’s
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup diced fresh strawberries
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tbsp. strawberry puree (you'll need about 2 large strawberries, instructions below)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (just until desired consistency of glaze)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper with long edges. This will help you lift out the blondies for easy glazing and slicing later.
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg.
When the egg is fully incorporated, beat in the lemon juice. The lemon juice will probably not completely incorporate at this point, and that's OK.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and add to the wet ingredients, mixing until no more dry flour is present.
Gently fold in the diced strawberries. Spread the mixture into your pan and spread out as evenly as possible. The dough is thick, so take your time.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, just until starting to turn golden around the edges and the center is set. A toothpick inserted in the center will be moist but not wet. Don't overbake these, or they will dry out. Let cool on a rack.
Trim the strawberries for making the glaze and puree in a small food processor. Strain the puree through a small strainer to get 1 Tbsp. of puree. Whisk together the sugar, puree, and lemon juice until no lumps remain. If your glaze is too thin, add a touch more sugar. If it's too thick, add more lemon juice.
Spread the glaze over the cooled blondies. Let the glaze set before slicing.
Look, it’s easy to buy some form of strawberry lemonade in the store and call it a day, but when you’re talking fruit juices, they are usually less than 10 percent of the actual fruit. Here’s a fresh, fruity, delightful and most importantly for this weekend coming up, cooling, lemonade recipe.
(P.S. This one makes a LOT of frozen dog treats too!)
1/2 pound fresh strawberries , stems removed
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 1/2-5 cups water , divided
1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Use a blender or food processor to puree the strawberries. Strain them through a fine mesh sieve, if desired, to remove seeds. I actually like the seeds in this one, as it gives it that fresh texture, but I understand it’s not for everyone. It’s like the pulp/no pulp battle in orange juice!
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, stir together sugar and 2 cups water.
Bring to a boil, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Strain the lemon juice through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-quart pitcher. Add simple syrup and pureed strawberries and stir to combine. Refrigerate until cold.
When ready to serve, add 2 ½ cups of cold water and stir. Taste, and add more water if it's too sweet.
Serve with ice.
Aly was out of town this past weekend for a bachelorette party and I tested this recipe. Hopefully she doesn’t read this column this week, because then she’ll know I finished it all before she got home. It was that good!
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus more for greasing
5 oz. frozen and thawed or fresh, hulled strawberries (about 1 cup)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch (square or round) baking dish with butter. Set aside.
Using your hands or the back of a fork, mash the berries to release all their juices, and stir in 1/3 cup of the brown sugar. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, milk and salt, then add the flour and baking powder and continue whisking just until the batter is smooth. Transfer the batter (it’s not much) to the greased baking dish, and spread evenly into corners.
Spoon the strawberries and all their juices over the top of the cake batter. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or just when a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes before spooning into bowls. Serve warm with ice cream. Serves four.
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