4 July 2011

Summer Strawberries

If I was to find another word to replace "summer", it would be "strawberries".  Those small, succulent little candies of nature are so perfect for summer days.  They go well in salads, they go well in baked goodies.  Such a universal berry, and so sweet when picked fresh off the vine!

Image taken from Roger Doiron at Mother Earth News

While browsing around a few days ago, I came across this recipe, which has become one of my favourite treats to serve in the summer.  It is served at the Fairmount Chateau Laurier in Ottawa and there's a huge difference in flavour when fresh local strawberries are used.)  Think of it like a delectable strawberry shortcake with maple scones standing in for the shortcake.

Image taken from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts at Delish


Maple Scones

2 1/2 cups flour
1/8 cup sugar
1/8 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoon(s) powder
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Combine the dry ingredients into a bowl. Cut in butter until butter is pea-sized. Add in maple syrup, egg and milk. Blend until it is emulsified.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is about 1 inch thick.  Using a round 4-inch cookie cutter, cut scones. Makes approximately 12 scones. Score and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow them to cool.  
Place one scone in the center of your plate.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the strawberry coulis on the scone.  Arrange some of the marinated strawberries on the scone and top that with a healthy dollop of Chantilly cream.  Place a second scone on the top, sprinkle lightly with confectioners sugar and garnish with a mint sprig.  Drizzle some additional strawberry coulis for color and flavor.

Marinated Strawberries & Cream Filling

16 in season strawberries, quartered
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons ice wine

1 cup cold whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar

Mix strawberries, sugar, and ice wine together and allow to marinate for 10 minutes. Reserve.  In a large stainless steel bowl, add cream and begin to whip it with an electric mixer or using a balloon whisk. As soon as the cream starts to thicken, add vanilla and sugar. Continue to whip until it forms soft peaks similar to that of a soft-serve ice cream cone. Reserve.

Strawberry Coulis

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 splash lemon juice
Mint sprigs, for garnish

Blend strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice together in a household blender and strain through a strainer. Reserve. 

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