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Dash of Class: Strawberries in season

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

Strawberries, I love them! I have such fond memories of going strawberry pickin’ as a young kid. When we got them home, Mom would make a strawberry pie and later make strawberry jam and preserves and freeze the rest in the freezer. We could eat on them all winter long.

Later when I got married and Joey was old enough we would go picking, but I think Joey was picking more green than red berries. He wore out on us the first time we took him, but later he was a pretty good strawberry picker.

In the last decade or so, we get enough strawberries that we can make freezer jam and freeze strawberries in quart bags. This year we MUST get strawberries, both jam and frozen strawberries amounts on hand are getting low. I want to remind you that the Strawberry Pie. Strawberry Cake and two strawberry salads are in my book, "Mama and Me."

I hope these recipes will help you enjoy the fruit in season. Be sure and check the classifieds for possible strawberry patches.

Strawberry Custard Torte
1 package yellow cake mix
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 package (12 ounces) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed and drained
Sliced fresh strawberries and mint leaves, optional

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using twogreased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt; gradually stirin milk until smooth. Bring it to a boil over medium heat; cook andstir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into the egg yolks; returns all to pan,stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

With a serrated knife cut both layers in half horizontally. Place half of the whipped topping in a large bowl; add strawberries. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with half of the strawberry mixture. Top with a second cake layer; spread with custard and then top with a third cake layer; spread with remaining strawberry mixture. Top with remaining cake layer and whipped topping. Refrigerate overnight. Garnish with strawberries and mint if desired. 

Yield: 12 servings.

Source: Taste of Home, 2014

Strawberry Sundae Sauce
2 quarts fresh strawberries
6 cups sugar
1 pouch (3 ounces) liquid fruit pectin
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
1/3 cup raspberry liqueur, optional
Vanilla ice cream

Wash and mash strawberries, measuring out enough mashed berries tomake 4 cups. In a Dutch oven, combine strawberries and sugar. Bringto a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir inpectin. Boil 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Remove from theheat. Stir in syrup and liqueur if desired. Skim off foam.

Pour into jars or freezer containers, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.Cool to room temperature, about one hour. Cover and let stand overnight or until set. Refrigerate for up to three weeks or freeze for up to one year. Serve with ice cream.

Yield: 8 cups.

Source:  Taste of Home, 2014

Strawberry Ice
5 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries, thawed
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice

Place the strawberries in a blender or food processor; cover andprocess until smooth. In a saucepan, bring sugar and water to aboil. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes; coolslightly. Add to blender. Add lemon juice; cover and process untilcombined.

Pour into a shallow freezer container; cover and freeze for 4-6 hoursor until almost frozen. Just before serving, whip mixture in ablender or food processor. Yield: 6 servings.

Source:  Taste of Home, 2014

No-Bake Strawberry Dessert
1 angel food cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 packages (0.3 ounce each) sugar-free strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 package (20 ounces) frozen unsweetened whole strawberries, thawed
2 cups cold 1 percent milk
1 package (1 ounce) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
Chopped fresh strawberries, optional

Arrange cake cubes in a single layer in a 13-inch x 9-inch dish. In abowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water; stir in strawberries. Pourover cake and gently press cake down. Refrigerate until set, about 1hour.

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let standfor 2 minutes or until soft-set. Spoon the pudding mix over gelatin layer. Spread with whipped topping. Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with chopped fresh strawberries if desired.

Yield: 20 servings

Taste of Home, 2014

Nora Sweat, author of  "Mama and Me" is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701