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It’s Time For Strawberries

As a kid, I can remember for a time my grandparents grew strawberries. Not the traditional way – somehow, Granddaddy found a way that took up less room and didn’t require squatting down to the ground to pick them. He planted them in what can only be described as round pyramids, with rows of round metal bands filled with soil and stacked up on each other to resemble a Christmas tree of cascading strawberry plants. My grandparents’ place was referred to as “the house with the strawberry towers”.

It’s the beginning of strawberry season here in the South, start enjoying this delectable fruit with these tasty recipes!

Simple & Elegant Strawberry Soup

  • 16 oz. strawberries
  • 1 cup sourcream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tblsp. fresh lemon juice

Process strawberries and remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Garnish with whipped cream, strawberry slice and mint sprig.

Strawberry Breakfast Muffins

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-1/2 cups strawberries, chopped fine

Preheat oven to 375°. Beat sugar with butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the milk, eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth; set aside. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and mix well. Add to the creamed mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in strawberries. Spoon into muffin pans that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray (or use muffin cups). Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes. Yields 12-15 muffins.

Strawberry Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans
  • 3 cups flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1⁄2 cup seedless strawberry jam
  • 3 tbsp. red food coloring (optional)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (1-lb.) box confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. strawberry extract

Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9” round cake pans; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together milk, jam, and 2 tbsp. food coloring in a small bowl; set aside. Beat together sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and smooth, 2–3 minutes. In 3 additions, alternately add dry and wet ingredients to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with dry; mix until combined. Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth tops; bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of cakes comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes, unmold, then cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese on high speed of a mixer until smooth and fluffy, 1–2 minutes. Add remaining food coloring, confectioners’ sugar, and strawberry extract; beat until smooth. Place one cake upside down on a cake stand, and spread 1/3 frosting over top. Cover with second cake, top side up; frost top and sides of cakes with remaining frosting; refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temperature.