Monday, June 10, 2013

A taste of spring

(Some of the photos may appear squashed. This is likely due to our bandwidth being messed up and the pictures being loaded oddly. Our slowed/downgraded bandwidth is also why I may not be able to answer your comments quickly; the dial-up speed we're reduced to half the month prevents the Disqus comments from being loaded.)

Nothing says spring to me like strawberries, and this year, we have a bumper crop. We must have picked at least four times this amount already:
Aren't they total beauties? And they all came from just one bed (behind my hand). We should start another bed.
What's a gal to do but make a lot of strawberry goodies? So, I made strawberry mousse!

I used the recipe that I think I got from my friend, Grace. It's so good, I knew you'd want to have the recipe too. I'm actually including two different recipes. I made the first one, but if you like lemon zest and more whipped cream, you can try the second:

Strawberry Mousse
makes 6

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
2 cups hulled, sliced strawberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Whole strawberries for garnish

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small saucepan; let stand I minute to soften. Stir over low heat until gelatin is dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Place strawberries, granulated sugar and gelatin mixture in a food processor or blender. Whirl to purée. Pour into a bowl. Chill until mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon, 1 hour.

Beat cream and confectioners' sugar in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Stir one-quarter of cream into strawberry purée to lighten mixture. Fold in remaining cream.

Spoon into 6 stemmed glasses or dessert bowls, dividing equally. Chill 2 hours. Or, after lightening purée with cream, layer remaining whipped cream with strawberry purée in stemmed glasses. Garnish
with whole berries.


Strawberry Mousse II

Light and airy, this fruit-based treat can be whipped up in minutes and kept on hand for an afternoon snack. Garnished with additional strawberries, whipped cream and mint leaves, it makes an elegant dessert.

 1/4 cup cold water

 1 pkg. unflavored gelatin 
 1/4 cup boiling water 
 2 1/4 cups strawberries 
 1 tsp. lemon zest  
 1/3 cup sugar 
 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 
 4 to 6 mint leaves 

1. Pour the cold water into a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let stand for 2 minutes. Pour the boiling water over the gelatin mixture and whisk or stir with a fork until the gelatin is dissolved. Set aside 6 perfect strawberries for the garnish. Place the gelatin mixture, lemon zest, the rest of the strawberries and the sugar into a blender or the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth.

2. Meanwhile, whip the cream with an electric mixer until it forms soft peaks; set aside a few dollops for the garnish.

3. Pour the strawberry mixture over the whipped cream and gently fold the ingredients together. Spoon the mixture into 4 parfait or stemmed glasses, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Just before serving, garnish each glass with the additional whipped cream, a whole strawberry and a mint leaf. Makes 6 servings.

I also made strawberry pie:
We ate that whole thing in one day! Guess I might be making this one again. :)

Do you grow strawberries? Do you like strawberries? If not, what says "Spring" to you?

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." ~ Douglas Adams