Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Strawberries for the Weekend

The strawberries are coming fast and furious now and we are trying to get our fill of them while they last.  It is a race to see who gets them first . . . the garden slugs or us.  Most of the time we win.   I thought it would be fun this morning to showcase some of my favourite strawberry recipes, the ones which we enjoy year after year without fail.   My tried and true berry recipes.  Enjoy!

Did you know that berries, especially strawberries have a special affinity for Balsamic Vinegar?  They do and this is the perfect way to highlight that beautiful marriage.

*Strawberries With Balsamic Vinegar*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

If you are looking for a dessert that is fresh, easy and delicious, then look no further. This tasty dish fills the bill on all counts!

750g of ripe small strawberries
60g of caster sugar (superfine sugar)
2 TBS good quality balsamic vinegar
125g of mascarpone cheese

Wipe the strawberries clean with a damp cloth, and then carefully hull them. If your berries are somewhat on the larger side, cut them in halves or quarters. Place them all into a glass bowl. Sprinkle the caster sugar on top and toss them gently to coat. Let sit, covered loosely with a cloth, for 2 hours to macerate. After 2 hours, drizzle the balsamic vinegar over top. Toss gently again, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Spoon the berries into 4 glass dishes. Drizzle each with some of the syrup left in the bowl. Spoon a dollop of mascarpone cheese on top of each and serve.

This is a delicious bread that I make at least once every strawberry season.  It's not a great keeper, and needs to be eaten up within a day or so, but that's never been a problem around here.  I usually send half of it to my good friend Doreen and we enjoy the other half ourselves.  If you have a family it will be inhaled in no time at all.  Great for elevensies, and for any time really.  Note, it also freezes well, so you can also freeze what you don't eat for a later date.

*Strawberry Cardamom Bread*
Makes one 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf
Printable Recipe

A deliciously moist bread stogged full of fresh strawberries and glazed with a tangy lemon glaze.

4 ounces unsalted butter ( 1/2 cup)
150g granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
280g plain flour, sifted (2 cups)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
(remove the seeds from green cardamom pods and grind them
with a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder if you cannot find it already ground)
175g sour cream (1/2 cup) or plain yoghurt
55g toasted walnuts (1/2 cup), coarsley chopped
300g of fresh strawberries, chopped (1 1/2 cups)

For the glaze:
the juice of 1/2 lemon
enough icing sugar to make a drizzable glaze

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter and lightly flour a 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf. Set aside.

Beat the butter until softened. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cardamom together. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix only to combine. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries and the nuts.

Spoon into the prepared and bake for about 1 hour, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let stand in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack to cool.

Whisk together the lemon juice and enough icing sugar to make a drizzle glaze. Drizzle over the cake. Let set.

Serve warm or at room temperature. This bread also freezes very well.

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I usually like to make a special breakfast at the weekend and during strawberry season these buttermilk pancakes are a real favourite of ours, especially when I serve them with my special honey and vanilla butter!  The Toddster just loves these and I reckon the Toddster in your life will too!

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*Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Honey & Vanilla Butter*
Serves 4    
Printable Recipe

In honor of fresh berries and strawberry season.  Feel free to substitute other berries for the strawberries.  Blueberries, raspberries and even sliced banana works well!
100g self raising flour (14 1/2 TBS) 1 tsp baking powder 25g caster sugar (2 TBS) pinch fine sea salt 2 large free range eggs,separated 175ml butter milk (scant 3/4 cup) 40ml whole milk (3 TBS) 45g sweet butter, melted (3 TBS)
a handful of fresh strawberries, chopped
For the honey and vanilla butter: 100g butter, soft (scant 1/2 cup) 3 TBS clear acacia honey 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

First make the butter.   Tip all of the ingredients for the butter into a bowl and simply beat together with an electric mixer until pale and creamy.   Spoon into a small bowl and cover.  Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm up.

Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a bowl.   Whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk and milk.   Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture.  Tip in the wet ingredients along with 15g of the butter (1 TBS).  Whisk together until smooth.   Whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Fold these into the pancake batter.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Brush with some of the remaining melted butter.  Add 3 to 4 large spoonfuls of the batter, spacing them well apart.  Scatter the tops of each with a few slices of berry.  Cook for several minutes, until the surface is covered with bubbles and the bottom side is golden brown.  Flip over and cook for another minute until cooked through and golden brown on the underside as well.  Place onto an ovenproof platter, cover with a clean tea towel and keep warm in a low oven until you have cooked them all.

Serve hot at the table with the butter.  Delicious.    Crisp slices of streaky smoked bacon go very well! (It's that sweet and salty thing you know . . . )

Note:  If you really want to be decadent you can add crumbled crisp meringues and then call them Eton Mess Pancakes!

You just have to have strawberry shortcake at least once or twice during the season.  I showed you my mom's the other day, and here today I want to show you another delicious version which uses elderflower and black pepper.  This is fabulously delicious!  You pepper the berries and infuse the cream with elderflower cordial, but don't worry if you can't get the elderflower cordial, you could also use rose water and it would be just as gorgeous!

*Strawberry Shortcakes with Black Pepper and Elderflower Cream*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

A unique and delicious twist on the traditional dessert, with the addition of snappy black pepper and a delicate elderflower cordial infused cream.

4 large buttermilk biscuits, topped with some demerara sugar before baking
(I use my recipe which you can find here)
1 pound (16 ounces) fresh strawberries
3 TBS caster sugar
freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the cream:
225ml of double or whipping cream (1 cup), well chilled
3 to 4 TBS elderflower cordial
3 TBS caster sugar

Wash the berries and gently dry them. Hull and then slice into a bowl. Stir in the sugar and some freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside to macerate for about 15 minutes.

Whisk the cream along with the caster sugar, until it forms soft folds. Gently fold in the elderflower cordial.

Split the buttermilk biscuits and place the bottom half of each onto a dessert plate. Top with one forth of the macerated berries. Divide the elderflower cream between each, placing on top of the berries. Top with the biscuit tops. Serve immediately.

Note: The cream can be whipped ahead of time and kept covered and chilled in the refrigerator. I do not advise preparing the berries too far ahead of time as they will become too soft and release too many of their juices. You don't want to leave them to macerate much longer than 15 minutes for optimum flavour and texture. The biscuits are best made ahead and stored in an airtight container until you are ready to use them. When baking simply brush the tops with some milk and sprinkle with some demerara sugar for a nice look and texture.

Rock Cakes may be one of Harry Potter's favourite teatime treats, but I have news for you.  They are one of our favourites too, especially these fresh Strawberry Shortcake Rock Cakes!  These . . . pardon the pun . . . quite simply ROCK!

*Strawberry Shortcake Rock Cakes*
Makes about 3 dozen
Printable Recipe

Tender, sweet and chock full of sweet strawberries! As with any rock cake, they are best eaten on the day, but will keep in an airtight container for up to one day.

12 ounces fresh strawberries cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 2 cups)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
9 TBS granulated sugar, divided
8 1/2 ounces plain flour (2 cups)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine seasalt
6 TBS cold butter, cut into small bits
5 1/2 fluid ounces double cream (about 2/3 cup)
demerara sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Stir together the diced berries, lemon juice and 2 TBS of the sugar. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Drop in the butter and then rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the cream just until the dough begins to come together and then fold in the berry mixture until combined.

Drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets by heaped tablespoons, leaving some space between each one. Sprinkle with some demerara sugar.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before eating. Your family will love you.


A good crumble never goes amiss.  We do love our crumbles and this Strawberry Rhubarb Oat and Walnut Crumble is one of the best, I kid you not!  Lashings of custard or cold ice cream . . . or if you are feeling a bit indulgent, clotted cream are a MUST!


*Strawberry, Rhubarb, Oat and Walnut Crumble*
Serves 8 to 12
Printable Recipe

This is worth waiting all year for.  Delicious, delicious, DELICIOUS!

For the Crumble Topping:
3.75 ounces plain flour (3/4 cup)
2 ounces rolled oats (1/2 cup)
3.75 ounces soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup packed)
3 ounces of chopped toasted walnuts ( generous 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 ounces butter, melted (1/4 cup)

For the filling:
7 ounces granulated sugar (1 cup)
2 TBS cornflour
16 ounces rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces (a generous 6 cups)
16 ounces strawberries, cut in half (a generous 6 cups)
1 TBS pure vanilla extract

Pouring cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Butter a large glass baking dish and set aside.

Make the crumble first.  Mix the flour, oats, sugar, salt and walnuts together in a bowl.  Pour the melted butter over top.  Stir and press together to make a few clumps.  Put in the freezer while you make the filling.

Stir together the cornflour and sugar, mixing it together well.  Add the fruit and vanilla.  Toss together gently to coat.  Pour into the prepared baking dish.  Remove the crumble from the freezer and sprinkle over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges.  Cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

Spoon out into bowls to serve and pass the cream!

Note:  This is best eaten on the day.  You can halve the recipe quite successfully if you don't want to make that much.  Chill any leftovers, wrapped in the refrigerator.  They're quite nice eaten for breakfast the morning after.  *blush*    


This is a lovely dessert of simple pan roasted berries served warm with a nice dollop of softly whipped honey cream.  Sometimes it's the simple things in life which bring us the most joy, and this certainly is one of those!


*Roasted Summer Berries, with Honey Whipped Cream*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

One of the tastiest of summer treats!

500g of English Strawberries (about 1 pound)
2 TBS butter
4 TBS soft light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

For the Cream:
225ml of double or whipping cream (1 cup)
2 TBS runny honey (I like wildflower or clover)
a few drops of vanilla extract  

Preheat your oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Wash and then gently dry the berries with some paper towelling. Hull them and if they are large, cut in half.

Whip the cream with a wire wisk until it just starts to peak. Stir in the honey and vanilla. Set aside and keep cool.

Melt the butter in an ovenproof skillet. Add the sugar and cardamom and stir to melt the sugar. Once the sugar is melted, turn off the heat and add the berries, tossing them gently to coat them in the mixture. Bang the pan into the oven. Roast for 2 to 3 minutes, give them a stir, and roast for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Spoon the roasted berries into serving dishes and top each serving with a dollop of the honey cream. Drizzle any juices over top. Serve immediately.


We don't just eat them for desserts either.  You can't beat a delicious salad, especially when it's composed of lovely ripe berries, proscuitto, rocket and mozzarella!  This always goes down a real treat.   The pickled shallot dressing is a winner/winner!    We love THIS fresh and tasty salad!


 *Strawberry and Mozzarella Salad*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

A delicious salad, which is not only simple and quick to make but makes a great  and unsual use of seasonal berries.

2 TBS Apple Balsamic Vinegar
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp caster sugar (fine sugar)
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
2 X 80g packs or Italian Proscuitto Crudo (about 8 thin slices)
1 ball of Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese, drained and torn (about 1/4 pound)
250g of strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced (1/4 pound)
2 X 50g packs of wild rocket leaves, washed and dried (about 4 cups, arugula)

Whisk the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar and shallots together in a large bowl.  Season well with black pepper.  Set aside.

Divide the proscuitto between 4 chilled salad plates.  Scatter with the mozzarella.  Toss the strawberries and rocket into the bowl with the dressing.  Toss gently to coat.  Divide equally amongst the salad plates, placing it on top of the meat and cheese.  Drizzle any leftover dressing over top .  Serve immediately.

Note - You won't need any salt as the proscuitto is quite salty.  

I hope that I have wet your berry whistle and that strawberries will be on your menu this weekend like they are going to be on ours!


  1. Omy! Marie you make a lot of delicious strawberries recipes!
    Love all:)
    And I made a recipe with strawberry too:)))
    We are alike:)

  2. It's that time of year Gloria! Strawberry season! I love it! xx

  3. Sigh! The Welsh strawberries are as late as usual! Strawberries at Wimbledon time never happen, ours are ready in July.
    I LOVE them. Even though I am mildly allergic to them (hives, itchy eyes and swollen tongue) they are worth the discomfort and your recipes make the anticipation even greater.
    Thank you!

  4. Jenni, I am so sorry to read that you are allergic to strawberries, even if only mildly. I am like that with shell fish, which is why you never see shell fish on here. Todd is allergic as well, so we just avoid it altogether! xx

  5. That strawberry cardamom cake is callng my name this morning!
    A pethora of great strawb recipes ..Thank you as always.

  6. I would love to see you make it Monique! Your presentation would be beautiful I am sure! xx

  7. Oh all those recipes look so tantalizing to a gal in the southern Hemisphere, sigh will have to wait till summer to try these. Definitely will bookmark this page.
    Zana's Kitchen

  8. Drooling over on my end! Looks SOOO good!

  9. Thanks Zana! It seems odd that you are in your Winter and we are in our Summer! Stay warm!

    Thanks Val! I haven't forgotten I owe you an e-mail! My week has just gotten away from me! xxoo

  10. You must be psychic!
    After a long winter and a wet spring, we were told the strawberries would be late again this year. I will not buy those horrid 'greenhouse' ones in winter. As I was leaving Sobeys on Friday night, I saw a flat of berries come in - in their lovely traditional wooden boxes - all lush and plump. We do get excited over little things! But they weren't priced yet. I roared back in to get them yesterday morning - ALL GONE! I was devastated. We went to the shore and I looked longingly at the U Pick in Grande Digue - no sign out yet... but as we came back from the cottage last evening - a sign at their veggie stand - STRAWBERRIES! My car knew which way to turn! They were lush, plump and shiny and in the requisite wooden box. I had to pay $5.49 for them (!!!) and they had come from the Annapolis Valley and they are going to be soooooo good tonight - shortcake for sure. They are so popular around here that they could even be the first course BEFORE the main course. Until strawberries, there is no summer...

  11. I agree Linda, Strawberries ARE Summer! I hope you enjoy yours! $5.49 seems a lot, but I am sure they were worth every penny!


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