Too many strawberries? It's a dilemma I don't mind having. Every summer when my family goes up north for the 4th of July, we head to a local strawberry patch to pick berries. On this trip, a huge containerful made it back to St. Paul with me and I started imagining a dessert that would use up a hefty share of the extremely ripe berries.
First, I made the Gingered Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote. In addition to the strawberries, I also have more rhubarb than I know what to do with in my vegetable garden. The eight plants not only supply my kitchen, but anyone else who happens to stop by and can be coerced into taking a bagful home. The addition of candied ginger and lime zest was a nice balance to the sweetness of the sauce.
Next came the Strawberry Gelato; simple enough to make with sugar, milk & cream, fresh strawberries, and lemon juice. And from the beginning, I knew I wanted my Strawberry Gelato to set upon a buttery, nicely-browned shortbread cookie. Several of the meals I ordered on my recent trip to Provence included a thin, rectangular shortbread cookie with something sweet or savory piped on top.
I used a Melissa Clark pistachio shortbread recipe and altered it slightly for my thinly-rolled cookies. Instead of stirring chopped pistachios into the dough and shaping it into logs, I ground them finely in a food processor along with the flour and confectioners' sugar, giving me flecks of pistachios throughout the finished cookies.
The components of this dessert are all delicious on their own, but the combination of the three is a winner and a great way to take advantage of sweet, local strawberries.
recipe from: Raymond D' Ottavio at Aunt Lena's Creamery in Chandler, Arizona
• 12 ounces fresh strawberries (hull removed)
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1. Combine the strawberries, sugar, and milk in a blender container. Pureé until smooth. Add the heavy cream and pulse very briefly, just to combine. Stir in the lemon juice.
2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl or pitcher and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
3. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions. Transfer to a freezer container and store in freezer for up to 1 month.
STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB COMPOTE with GINGER and LIME
Bon Appétit | April 2003
• 2 pounds strawberries, halved if large
• 1 pound rhubarb, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 3 tablespoons finely-minced crystallized ginger
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 3/4 teaspoon grated lime peel
1. Combine 1 1/2 pound of the strawberries and all of the rhubarb in a medium size pot. Add the sugar, crystallized ginger, lime juice and peel and bring to a boil. Stirring often, boil the mixture for about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture until the rhubarb has softened; about another 3 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 pound fresh strawberries. Allow the mixture to cool and transfer to an air-tight container. Store in the refrigerator.
3. The compote is good on its own served with crème fraîche, or over plain yogurt, ice cream or bread pudding.
ROLLED PISTACHIO SHORTBREAD COOKIES
an adapted recipe: Bon Appétit | August 2007
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
• 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1 large egg yolk
• 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, confectioners' sugar, kosher salt, and pistachios. Process until the pistachios are finely chopped and incorporated through-out the mixture.
2. Add the butter, egg yolk, and vanilla. Pulse the butter-flour mixture until the dough begins to come together. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic, wrap, and flatten into a disk. Place dough in refrigerator until cold, at least 2 hours.
3. When ready to bake, PREHEAT the OVEN to 325˚F.
4. Take the dough from the refrigerator and cut the disk into quarters. Take one quarter and place on a lightly-floured work surface. Return the remaining dough to the refrigerator. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour and roll to a thickness of just over 1/8-inch. Cut out cookies with desired cookie cutter (mine was a 2 3/4-inch round) and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on middle rack of oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are a light, golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat rolling/baking with remaining dough.
5. When cookies have cooled, transfer to a tin or airtight container.
• Place Pistachio Shortbread Cookie on a small plate or shallow bowl. Top with a scoop of Strawberry Gelato and spoon Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote onto the gelato. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios if desired and serve.
TAKE a LOOK: