By: Shilo Urban
April is the beginning of strawberry season, and if you want to find the freshest in town, look no further than Storm Farms in Arlington. The organic strawberry farm opened for the spring picking season at the end of March. “You want to pick strawberries that are already red,” said Storm Farms owner Johanna Storm. “Some fruits will ripen on the counter, but strawberries won’t do that. You want them red all the way at the top.” We rounded up some delicious strawberry-filled recipes so you can put your loot to work.
Croissant with Cream Cheese and Strawberries
4 fresh croissants
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Basil sprigs, to garnish
Warm croissants in a toaster or in a warm oven, preheated to 325 F. Split through the middle with a sharp knife and spread the bottom halves with cream cheese. Stuff with sliced strawberries and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar. Garnish with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and a sprig of basil before serving.
Makes four servings
For the cake
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the filling
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
1/2 cup strawberry jelly
2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
Daisy flowers, to decorate, optional
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and line the bases of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric whisk for 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugar until the mixture is thick and glossy, 8-10 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract. Sift the flour, cornstarch and baking powder into a separate mixing bowl. Gently fold flour mixture into the egg mixture in three additions until you have an even batter. Divide batter between the cake pans. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden and dry to the touch on top; a toothpick should come out clean from their centers. Remove to cooling racks. Once cool, turn out from the pans and trim the tops flat with a serrated knife. Place one cake on a cake stand.
For the filling: Whip cream with confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until stiffly peaked. Spread a thick layer of whipped cream on top of the cake on the cake stand. Press halved strawberries into the cream, with the points of the strawberry halves facing into the cream; make sure the cut sides of the strawberry halves face out around the perimeter. Spread the other cake with the jelly. Invert onto the top of the strawberry layer, pressing down gently to adhere.
To garnish: Top cake with sliced strawberries and garnish with heart-shaped candies and daisies before serving.
Makes 12 servings
By: Shilo Urban