Strawberries on Parade

There are few things in life as delightful as fresh, juicy strawberries that have been picked on a dewy morning ... except, perhaps the anticipation that comes with knowing that you can enjoy them fresh and in your favorite baked goods for days to come!

June is the height of strawberry season in many parts of the United States and, this month, strawberry recipes are on parade here at Seasoned Cooking. We begin with a strawberry jam recipe that's simple, fast and delicious! It's perfect on toast and, because it's made in the microwave, it can be put together in about a half an hour.

Fresh Strawberry Jam

  • 5 cups crushed strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 2 teaspoons lemon Juice
  • 1 package (1 3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
  • 7 cups sugar

In a 4-quart microproof bowl, combine the fruit and juice with the pectin. Cook, covered, on HIGH (Max Power) for 10-11 minutes, or until the mixture boils. Stir once during cooking. Stir in the sugar. Cook, uncovered, on HIGH for 10-12 minutes, or until the mixture boils hard for at least 1 minutes. Skim off any foam with a metal spoon. Pour the mixture into hot sterilized jars and seal.

  • Yields: 2 quarts
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Mini-muffins are great for brunch because you can enjoy more than one without any guilt. I like to make these and another kind, like lemon-poppyseed, to give some variety. Muffins are also great because you can make them in advance and freeze them so that you have them on hand at a moment's notice.

Strawberry Mini-Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 375. Spray 36 miniature muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well.

In a small bowl, combine the milk, oil and egg; blend well. Add to the flour mixture; stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Gently stir in the strawberries.

Spoon a rounded tablespoonful of batter into each sprayed muffin cup. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the batter in the cups.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-16 minutes or until the edges are very light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool for 3 minutes; remove from the pan. Serve warm.

  • Yields: 36 mini-muffins
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Coffee cake is for more than just coffee. It's versatile enough to be served at breakfast, as an afternoon snack, or for dessert after a casual dinner. This one is particularly decadent with its cheesecake-like filling that's topped with fresh berries.

Strawberry Shortcake Coffee Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup firm butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • 2 packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced (about 3 cups)

Preheat the oven to 450. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions) until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the milk, almond extract and egg just until blended. Spread the batter in an ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a chilled small bowl, beat the whipping cream with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form; set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Fold in the whipped cream. Frost the cake with this mixture. It can be refrigerated up to six hours after being frosted.

Just before serving, top the cake with the strawberries. Once the cake has been topped with the strawberries, it can be refrigerated up to 2 hours.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

This is a fun recipe to make with children. Just make sure you prepare the cakes in advance and then assemble them with the kids. Just remember, it's not important if they look a bit imperfect ... that's half of the fun!

Ice Cream Strawberry Shortcake

  • 3x6-inch ready-made sponge cakes or shortcakes
  • 2 pints/5 cups vanilla or strawberry ice cream
  • 1 1/2 lb. hulled fresh strawberries
  • Confectioners sugar, for dusting

If using sponge cakes, trim the raised edges with a serrated knife.

Sandwich the sponge cakes or shortcakes with two-thirds of the ice cream and the strawberries.

Place the remaining ice cream on top, finish with strawberries, dust with confectioner sugar and serve.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

This elegant dessert is perfect for entertaining because it needs to be made in advance and it looks stunning when sliced and presented on a dessert plate. Besides, the combination of chocolate and strawberries is really hard to beat. Why do you think chocolate-covered strawberries are such a hit?

Strawberry Chocolate Roll

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup seedless strawberry or raspberry jam
  • 2 pints strawberry ice cream, softened

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 15x10 inch jelly-roll pan with foil, extending the foil 1 inch over the ends of the pan. Grease and flour the foil.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the melted chocolate. Add the water and vanilla. Mix until smooth.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Add to the chocolate mixture. Using clean beaters and a large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 8-9 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Carefully loosen the sides of the cake from the foil. Invert the cake onto a clean towel sprinkled with cocoa. Peel off the foil. Starting at the short end, roll the warm cake, jelly-roll fashion, with the towel inside. Cool the cake completely. Unroll the cake and remove the towel.

Spread the cake with the jam and then spread the cake with the ice cream, leaving a 1/4-inch border at the edges. Roll up the cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and freeze. Allow the cake to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

  • Yields: 8-12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes plus freezing time
There you have it. We hope you enjoy these delightful recipes featuring our favorite berry. Of course, it's hard to beat a bowl of fresh berries when they are brimming with their own sweetness ... but we'd like to think that these recipes can help you enjoy them in more ways. Enjoy!