Strawberry Heaven! - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Strawberry Heaven!

Spring brings lots of things…flowers, rain showers, kite flying. But one of my favorite things about spring is strawberries, those deliciously sweet red berries. Not only do they taste great, but they are an excellent source of Vitamin C, have natural fiber, low in sodium, fat free and only 55 calories per cup of unsweetened berries.

Try these recipes with your strawberries.

Strawberries and Cream Cake

Prep Time: approx. 1 Hour.
Cook Time: approx. 25 Minutes.
Makes 1 - 3 layer 9 inch cake (12 servings).

  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, pureed
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups quartered strawberries

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9 inch round cake pans. 
  2. Mix flour and baking powder together and set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugar, gelatin and butter until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. 
  4. Beat in flour and milk alternately. Fold in 1 teaspoon vanilla and pureed strawberries. Divide equally into three 9 inch round cake pans. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then remove from pans and cool completely. 
  6. To make the filling: Beat whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla on high until stiff. 
  7. Fill each layer with 1/3 of the whipped cream and 3/4 cup sliced strawberries. Frost sides of cake with cream cheese frosting an edge of frosting around cake top. 
  8. Spread remaining whipped cream on cake top. Top with quartered strawberries.

 

Strawberry Cooler

  • 1 – 20 oz. can frozen orange juice, diluted
  • 1 c. sliced strawberries
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • Ice cubes

Combine orange juice, strawberries and sugar in blender bowl. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds. Add enough ice cubes to fill blender container and blend until ice is crushed. Club soda can be added for a lighter bodied drink.

 

Freezing Strawberries

Preparation for all packing methods: Wash berries and remove caps. 

  • Whole Berries Syrup Pack:
      •  Put berries into containers and cover with 50 % syrup, leaving head space. Seal and freeze. To make syrup dissolve 4 cups sugar in 4 cups lukewarm water, mixing until the solution is clear. Chill syrup before using. Makes 6 cups 50% syrup. 
  • Whole Berries Sugar Pack:
      • Add ¾ cup sugar to 1 quart strawberries and mix thoroughly. Stir until most of the sugar is dissolved or let stand about 15 minutes. Put into containers, leaving head space. Seal and freeze. 
  •  Sliced or Crushed:
      • Prepare for packing as for whole strawberries; then slice or crush partially or completely. Add ¾ cup sugar to 1-quart strawberries and mix thoroughly. Stir until most of the sugar is dissolved or let stand about 15 minutes. Put into containers, leaving head space. Seal and freeze. 
  • Unsweetened Packs:
      • Unsweetened fruit can be packed in water, fruit juice or pectin syrup. Unsweetened packs generally yield a product that does not have the plump texture and good color of those packed in sugar. The fruits freeze harder and take longer to thaw. Pectin syrup is often used for strawberries to help retain better texture than if frozen in water or juice. Use 1 pkg. powdered pectin and 2 ¾ cups water. Combine pectin & 1 cup water in saucepan. Heat to boiling and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and add remaining water. Cool. Makes 3 cups moderately thick syrup.
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