Friday, May 09, 2008

Luscious Berry Desserts

Both my husband and I love to cook, sometimes fighting over whose turn it is in the kitchen. You can often hear a voice raised in mock anger in our house, "Get out of MY kitchen!", and an arm pointing straight and strong to the other room. Just leave, go, I'M cooking today. Our kitchen is fairly small so it's not often that we squeeze around, doing the kitchen dance to cook together. Riff is the breakfast king and I generally always bow to him when breakfast is in the works, but I am the baking queen, standing tall over my domain. Anyway, (I'm getting away from my point here), I was tickled to death when I saw the post on Ex Libris site for the Soup's On Challenge. Oh, what fun! Another reason to pull out a few of my cookbook's, read them from cover to cover, and maybe add a couple of new one's to the mix. Wa-hoo! I joined right up. Next stop was Powell Books in Portland where I picked up Luscious Berry Desserts. I thought this one was really appropriate for us here in the Pacific Northwest with our abundance of berries and I was not disappointed. should see some of these recipe's. Delicious!

Being early spring, Strawberries are starting to be available in our local grocery stores so the first recipe I picked is Roasted Strawberry Shortcakes with Vanilla-Scented Biscuits. I had never roasted strawberries before, but they turned out so good. The roasting just inhances the sweet juicy flavor. And those vanilla-scented biscuits? Yum! You need to serve them warm, just as the recipe says, and they don't keep well, so gobble them all right away. I took pictures, but they came out dark and blurry, so I don't have a visual for you today.

Roasted Strawberry Shortcake with Vanilla-Scented Biscuits
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 3 tblsp. granulated sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
1 tblsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream, plus additional cream or milk for brushing
2 tsp. pure vanilla paste or vanilla extract
2 pints small ripe strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tblsp. confectioner's sugar

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425 F. Butter a large baking sheet.

Step 2: Whisk together the flour, the 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, the baking powder, and the salt in a medium bowl.

Step 3: Beat 1 cup of the cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large deep bowl just until it holds soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Beat in the vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add the whipped cream, and stir the mixture with a fork just until it begins to form a dough.

Step 4: On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough several times, just until it is well combined. Pat it out to 1/2 inch thick. With a 3-inch cutter, crinkle-edged if you have one, cut out 6 rounds; gather the scraps together and pat them out again if necessary. Brush the biscuits with cream and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place on the baking sheet.

Step 5: Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool on the pan on a wire rack. Increase the oven temperature to 450.

Step 6: Meanwhile, toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Transfer to a baking sheet with sides. When the biscuits are out of the oven, roast the strawberries, stirring twice, for about 12 minutes, until soft and fragrant.

Step 7: Just before serving, beat together the remaining 1/2 cup cream, the sour cream, and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer on medium sped in a large bowl until the cream forms soft peaks when the beaters are lifted.

Step 8: Split each biscuit with a fork and place the bottom halves on 6 serving plates. Spoon a generous portion of warm berries over each one, add a dollop of the cream, add the tops, and drizzle with the juices on the baking sheet. Serve immediately.

You're going to love these!

There's a long introduction in this cookbook where the author talks about her love of berries. Really fun to read. A great cookbook for any berry lovers shelves.

'One of my most memorable mornings ever was picking strawberries with my friend Barbara on a warm summer day in Maine. We literally lay down among the berries, picked dozens, and ate more. We were giddy and exhilarated at the thought of actually getting all the strawberries we wanted, and slightly guilty at the pleasure.'
Lori Longbotham


Blogger Booklogged said...

Paula, these sound absolutely sinful. I had several thoughts go through my mind as I read your post. First, how wonderful that cookbook looks; second, envy that you got to go to Powell's; third, jealousy that you live in beautiful Oregon and finally, giddiness just thinking about the big, luscious berries I've enjoyed when visiting Oregon. Oh, those blackberries...

I'm copying your recipe and hope to try it soon - before strawberries are gone.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Booklogged said...

I forgot to mention that I thought you were very lucky that your husband loves to cook, too. Wish you had a bigger kitchen so you could both be in there together. Some of my best times are when Candleman and I are cooking up a storm together. We do have to establish who's in charge for that meal, tho.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Mary said...


This book looks heavenly. I love berries and enjoyed your recipe.

I also commented on the post below. I would love to read that book. It sounds like it's right up my alley.


4:03 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Oh yum!!! That looks divine!

11:41 PM  
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