Wednesday, May 9, 2012


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Ever since I can remember, strawberries have been my favorite fruit.  Seriously, I was that little kid who would go nuts over them in the grocery store, shoving my face full of them when we went to pick them ourselves and my default ice cream choice was always strawberry-related.  I cheated on my favorite briefly with a marshmallowy rocky road phase, but since that isn't another type of fruit I don't think it really counts.

So, imagine my glee when I found out that the strawberry season started early this year!  Since we had such a mild winter and an early April deluge of epic proportions, this post reflects my second haul of the season.  Being almost 35 weeks pregnant definitely made it challenging, but thanks to help from my fabulous mother-in-law, who supplied towels for me to sit on and reach all around me to pick berries (so glad I don't have photos of that!), I was able to pick a whopping 16 quarts total!

In order to handle this abundance of my favorite fruit, I have made strawberry crisp, frozen tons of them to last us (hopefully) a few months and eaten waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many of them as snacks.  This post is focusing on two recipes I put together yesterday: my husband's favorite - strawberry freezer jam and a new favorite of ours - strawberry rhubarb cobbler.  I love rhubarb paired with strawberry, the tang and acidity it adds to the sweetness of the berries is addictive!  I have never tried it as a cobbler, mostly focusing on easy-to-make crisps rather than a biscuity cobbler.  This recipe was a definite winner!

Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

- 2 cups of crushed strawberries (I used a potato masher and it was perfect!)
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 package of fruit pectin (I used Sure-Jell brand)

*Note: Be sure to measure all of these ingredients incredibly accurately in order to make the jelly set!


1. Mash the berries and measure out 2 cups into a large bowl.  Mix the sugar into the berries and stir well until completely combined.  Don't reduce the sugar, I know it seems like a lot!  If you want a more reduced-sugar recipe, look for the lower sugar gelatin options in your grocery store. 

2. Stir one box of pectin and 3/4 cup of water in a small saucepan.  Pectin may start out lumpy, but bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  Once at a boil, stir for one minute, then remove from heat.  Pour gelatin mixture into the berries and stir until the sugar is dissolved - about 5-7 minutes. 

3. Pour into prepared containers, leaving about a 1/2 inch space at the top to allow for any expansion once frozen.  Let the jam sit at room temperature overnight so it sets, then you can keep it in the freezer for up to a year or in the fridge for 3 weeks. 

Now, if you're in the mood for something a little more dessert-y than jam, try this fantastic cobbler recipe.  I got the original out of "Fine Cooking" magazine and just tweaked it a little bit.  The only thing I would do differently next time is to cut the biscuits for the topping a little thinner.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler w/ Honey

Ingredients for the Filling
- 2 1/2 cups strawberries cut into 1/2" pieces
- 2 1/2 cups rhubarb cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 large lemon (for zest and juice)
- 3/4 cup honey (I used clover honey)
- 2 tbsp. instant tapioca
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Ingredients for the Topping
- 2 cups flour
- 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 6 tbsp. cold butter cut into small pieces
- 2/3 cup plus 1-2 tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. turbinado sugar (I didn't have any, so I just used granulated and it was fine)
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon


1. In a large bowl, make the filling by combining all ingredients (zest the entire lemon and add all the juice from it into the bowl too).  Pour into a greased 2-quart baking dish and set aside. 

2. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Using your fingers, work in the cold butter pieces until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the 2/3 cup heavy cream and mix with your fingers again until the dough just comes together.  If it still seems a little dry, add another tbsp. or 2 of the cream. 

3. On a well-floured surface, turn out the dough and pat it into about an 1/8" thickness.  I left my dough a little thicker and next time I'll probably be more precise, but don't freak out and drag out a ruler to make sure it is exactly 1/8" thickness!  Use a floured biscuit cutter (the smallest you have) to cut out rounds and place them over the filling, fitting them closely together to cover the top. 

4. Brush the biscuit tops with the remaining cream and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon before caking for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.  You want to bake until the biscuits are golden brown on top and the filling is bubbly.  Let the cobbler cool for at least 20 minutes before serving and try not to eat the entire dish yourself!

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