All Things Strawberry

The punnets of strawberries, cherries, blueberries and raspberries on sale at Cold Storage looked so inviting last weekend that I ended up buying $20 worth of berries home! After finishing the last of Driscoll’s strawberry, I chanced upon a recipe by Deb Perelman (of Smitten Kitchen) that gave the plain ol’ cream biscuit an interesting summer spin by adding strawberries to the batter. It looked so pretty that I knew I had to get down to making some..

Being the cheapo I am and feeling dreadfully poor from blowing $20 on berries, I replenished my strawberry supply by getting the cheapest brand I could find at NTUC ($4.50/punnet). Although it was also a produce of the U.S.(can’t remember the brand though), I encourage you to just stick to Driscoll’s! There is a reason why they have been around for more than a century. Also, just so you know, strawberries have one of the highest dosage of pesticides used among fruits. So you might like to head for the organic produce section to pick yours or, if you are a little frugal like me, make sure you soak and scrub those berries like there is no tomorrow. It helps psychologically anyways..

I have modified the recipe by substituting the full cup of heavy cream with half cup light cream + half cup full cream milk. It worked fine and I would imagine them having a lighter texture as compared to the original recipe. Just fyi, heavy cream = 45% fat while light cream (the normal whipping cream you get at our local supermarkets)  contains 35% fat.

The method used here is the ‘cutting-in’ method, which really, isn’t as scary as it sounds. All you have to do is to take the butter out of the fridge and cut them up into cubes while they are still hard. Dump these cubes into the flour and use a palette knife (please don’t be silly – no sharp kitchen knives please unless you want to destroy your mixing bowl)and further slice the pieces of butter up within the flour. Stop when the little clumps reach about pea-size. Really fun!

The other recipe that I would like to share is a strawberry cream icing that would will be great as a filling or icing for a simple butter cake. I chanced upon this in a futile attempt to bake a full ‘desert’ cake for Sel’s birthday, but, I ended up dumping the cake, not before scraping the wonderful strawberry cream off the surface 😉 Sorry to the gals who were nice enough to not make nasty comments about the cake. Haha. Butter cakes – totally not my forte. But I am trying!

Here is the biscuit recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. A great tea-time snack to make if you have a box of ripen strawberries sitting in the fridge + half an hour of spare time.

Strawberry Cream Biscuits (Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups (280 g) plain flour
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 6 tbsp (85 g) cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (about 130 g) chopped very ripe strawberries (quarter small or medium ones and further chop larger ones)
  • 1 cup heavy cream(or 1/2 cup cream 1/2 cup full cream milk)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 215 dC and lightly grease your baking sheet.
  2. In a large/wide bowl, whisk together your flour, sugar, powder and salt.
  3. Add the butter the mix it in using the ‘cutting-in’ method as described above.
  4. Gently stir in the strawberries and coat it with the flour.
  5. Stir in the cream
  6. Once it is mixed, give it one or two knead in the bowl. Don’t overwork the dough.
  7. Generously flour your kitchen counter and gently roll or press out the dough to about 3/4 inch thickness.
  8. Using a cookie cutter or top edge of a drink glass, cut out the biscuits into a size of about 2.5 inch diameter
  9. Transfer cut dough onto the baking sheet and space them apart.
  10. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes till bronzed at the edges and best if there are strawberry juice trickling out.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.

And here is the recipe for the refreshing strawberry cream.

Strawberry  Cream (Cakes & Cake Decorating, Step by Step)

Ingredients:

  • 225g fresh strawberries, washed, dried and hulled
  • 275 ml double cream (heavy cream)
  • 50 g cup icing sugar
  • 1tbsp of Kirsch or strawberry liquer (I used 1/4 tsp strawberry essence and 1 tbsp of Cognac)

Steps

  • Place all strawberries in food processor or blender and puree till smooth.
  • Whisk double cream in a mixing until it forms peaks
  • Fold puree into the cream with icing sugar and liquer.

Tadah!

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