What to do with Strawberries, Strawberries, and More Strawberries

Yesterday, I shared with you my story of real romance, or How My Husband Lovingly Bought Me 5 Flats of Strawberries.  Back then, I made and canned many, many jars of strawberry jam. But even eating as many PB & J’s as we do, I still have several jars of jam sitting on shelves.

So this time, when I got just two flats of strawberries, I needed to find some creative things to do with them.  I did freeze some, but I also wanted something beyond the normal strawberry fare.  And my husband is on Weight Watchers, so I needed to find food that didn’t put him over the edge.  So here are two things that I made, and the recipes to go along…. (I made a LOT more than this; I foresee several days of strawberry recipes to post!)

My husband’s favorite fruit flavor of ice cream is strawberry.  Go figure!  But all the cream and eggs might be a little much for someone aiming to lose some weight.  I found a recipe instead for Strawberry Sherbet.  Even though there’s still sugar in it, and the recipe called for cream, I adapted the Cooks Illustrated recipe using milk rather than the cream.  It tastes pretty darn wonderful still.

Strawberry Sherbert

2 cups strawberries, hulled
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C water
pinch salt
3 T lemon juice
2 Tbsp. vodka*
1/2 C low-fat milk + 2 T heavy cream

Place the berries, sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a soft boil over medium-high heat. Cook just until the blackberries start to pop and release their juice.

Transfer the berries and liquid to a blender. Gently pulse the berries to break them up and then puree until smooth. (Be careful here–hot liquid and tight blender lids can lead to burns and splatters!)

Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Press and scrape the solids along the bottom of the sieve to get as much puree as possible; leaving only seeds behind.

Add the lemon juice and vodka. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator about 2 hours.

In a separate bowl, mix together the milk plus the heavy cream.  Slowly pour into the fruit puree.

Turn on your ice cream maker and while it’s running, pour the cream/fruit mixture through the feed hole. Churn according to manufacturer directions. Transfer finished sherbet to a plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Freeze for a few hours until firm before serving.  Makes about 1 quart.

*Vodka helps keep the sherbet softer and easier to scoop.

On Sunday mornings we’re normally out of bed,  and in the car on our way to church before it’s even 8.  So I like to have something ready to go that we can nibble on while we’re getting ready, or take in the car with us.  I’ve discovered that I can make muffin batter, put it the little cupcake papers in the actual muffin tin, and freeze them in the tins.  When they’re frozen, I just pop the frozen muffins into a plastic bag and keep frozen until I’m ready to use them again.  When I’m ready, I place each muffin (in the paper) back into the tin and thaw them.  I can place them in the oven overnight, set the timer for sometime that morning, and Voilà!  They’re fresh and hot out of the oven as we walk out the door…

Strawberry Muffins

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
2 C flour
2 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 C milk
1/2 t vanilla
2 C hulled and chopped fresh strawberries
3 T sugar
1/2 t cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture. Add vanilla. Gently stir in strawberries.

Spoon batter into muffin pans.

Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins.

Bake at 400º for 20-25 minutes.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen muffins.

If you’d like a printable recipe, please click on the recipe name!

See you soon with more strawberry delights…


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