Monday, June 22, 2009

Strawberry Shortcakes and Freezer Jam

Sadly, strawberry season is almost over.  I have been busy making lots of treats to use up all of my berries. Here are some of my favorite strawberry recipes:

Strawberry Shortcakes

6 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 beaten egg
2/3 cup milk
Whipped Cream (see recipe below)

1.  Stir together berries and 1/4 cup of the sugar; set aside.

2.  Stir together the remaining sugar, flour, and baking powder.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs.  Combine egg and milk; add to the dry ingredients.  Stir just to moisten; do not over mix.  Drop by spoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet (I use two tablespoons).  You should have enough batter to make approximately nine individual shortcakes.

3.  Bake in a 450 degree oven for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Split each shortcake into two layers.  Spoon the berries over the bottom half of the short cakes, top with whipped cream, then top with the top layers of short cakes.  Serve immediately.  (Makes approximately 9 shortcakes).

Tip:  You can make the shortcake part ahead of time; cool, place in a zip top freezer bag, and freeze.  Thaw shortcakes at room temperature for approximately 2 hours.  Make the strawberries and whipped cream just before serving.

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Add the cream to a medium-size mixing bowl.  Beat the cream, using an electric mixer, starting on low and increasing the speed as the cream begins to froth.

2.  Gradually add the sugar and vanilla.  Continue to beat the cream or about 3 minutes, or until it holds soft peaks.  Use immediately.

Strawberry Freezer Jam
I make freezer jams because I am a freak about food safety!  They are also so easy to make. 

Strawberry Freezer Jam
1 quart fresh strawberries
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups sugar
3/4 cups water
1 package (1.75 oz) powdered pectin

1.  Cut the tops of the strawberries, then crush berries, one layer at a time.  (You should end up with about 2 cups of crushed berries).  Add lemon juice and sugar to berries.  Mix thoroughly and let stand 10 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, combine water and pectin in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Boil 1 minute.  Add cooked pectin to fruit mixture and stir for 3 minutes.

3.  Pour into jars or freezer containers, cover with lids, and let stand until set (but not longer than 24 hours).  Store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 year.  (Makes approximately 5  8oz. jars).

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