The month of May is almost over; however, I would say that its status as National Strawberry Month can bleed over into June. That is only my opinion, but those who enjoy strawberries would agree wholeheartedly. I was searching for recipes on a completely different topic when I found several recipes that are worth including in my column once again.
Strawberry Crunch Cake is one I had marked in a cookbook to try, but before I could manage to do so my then-teenage son Jonathan decided to make it by himself. It turned out to be delicious, although he left out the nuts (it seems like he substituted uncooked oatmeal) since he doesn’t care for them. I have substituted wheat germ for the nuts with good results; I have also used nuts if Jonathan isn’t going to be here to eat the cake, which has turned into a family favorite.
I have always enjoyed Strawberry Glaze Pie, but sometimes the purchased glaze tastes bitter to me. I was thankful to find a recipe to make the glaze, and even if I do say so myself, it is much better than the store-bought variety.
And in case you want strawberries other than in dessert, try Strawberry Chicken Salad.
Strawberry Crunch Cake
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen sliced strawberries, thawed OR 1 quart fresh strawberries, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup commercial sour cream
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Strawberry Glaze (recipe follows)
Drain strawberries, reserving juice for glaze. If using fresh strawberries, place1 cup of strawberries and 1 cup of water in small saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Strain, reserving juice for glaze. Discard pulp. Slice remaining strawberries.
Combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt; set aside.
Combine 1-1/4 cups sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl, creaming well. Add eggs, beating until smooth. Slowly mix in sour cream. Add flour mixture, and stir well.
Combine brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon; set aside for topping.
Pour half of batter into a lightly greased 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Spoon strawberries over batter; sprinkle with half of topping mixture. Top with remaining batter, and sprinkle with remaining topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cool; cut into 15 squares. Top each square with Strawberry Glaze and whipped cream. Yield: 15 servings.
Reserved strawberry juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Combine strawberry juice and cornstarch in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice. Serve warm over cake.
Strawberry Glaze Pie
Crush 1 cup fresh strawberries and cook with 1 cup water about 2 minutes; sieve.
3/4 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons cornstarch; stir into berry juice. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add few drops red food coloring, if desired. Place 1-1/2 cups fresh strawberries in baked and cooled 8 or 9-inch pastry shell. Pour half the sauce over. Repeat layers with 1-1/2 cups berries and remaining sauce. Chill. Serve with whipped cream or whipped topping, if desired.
Strawberry Chicken Salad
1/2 cup bottled poppy seed dressing
1/4 cup minced green onions (I used 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups chopped fresh chicken
2 cups diced fresh strawberries
Salt to taste
1 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)
Stir together poppy seed dressing, onions, basil, and pepper in a large bowl. Fold in chicken and strawberries; add salt to taste. Cover and chill 2 hours. Stir in pecans just before serving.