Strawberry Scones

I am insanely excited about these scones, you know when you make something kind of unsure how it will turn out and it comes out not only good, but INSANELY delicious?

Yeah.  That’s these scones.

I’m basically using any excuse I can right now to use strawberries because they’re so delicious and around for what feels like too short a time frame (that’s Canadian summer I guess…).  Pies, scones, pavlova, anything.

The key to these scones is to get the butter pieces as crumby as possible, it will ensure the best crumbly texture.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream, plus extra for brushing
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced (about 6-8 small strawberries)
  • Raw sugar for sprinkling

Steps

Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like rough crumbs.  Some pea sized pieces are okay.

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In a small bowl, whisk egg, sour cream, cream and vanilla until combined.  Add in two parts to butter and flour mixture, mixing until just combined after each addition.

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Add diced strawberries and stir until just incorporated.

Turn dough onto floured surface and press into a disk about a half inch thick, don’t worry if it’s not perfect.  Cut disk into 8 pieces and using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheet.

Brush lightly with cream and sprinkle on raw sugar.

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Bake at 400F for 17 minutes, or until just golden.

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Pavlova with Strawberries and Rhubarb Cream

Pavlova is a big meringue “cake”, typically topped with cream and fruit.  It’s crisp on the outside and deliciously chewy on the inside and is the perfect light summer dessert.

My Grandma always makes these, so naturally I was on the phone with her with any questions I had, as this was the first time I had made one, luckily all worked out! (One tip: separate your egg whites into a separate bowl.. Although if a tiny bit of yolk gets in, it won’t kill the meringue).

I also wanted to take advantage of rhubarb while it’s still around, and decided to incorporate it into a rhubarb “cream” aka compote folded into whipped cream.  And of course, the strawberries right now… So delicious and ripe and juicy. Get them while they last!  (Although at the market today I spotted the first raspberries, which means even more tarts coming up!)

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Pavlova Ingredients

  • 7 egg whites
  • 1 cup super fine sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Strawberries, for topping

Rhubarb Cream Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 inch slices
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2-4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Pavlova Steps

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat eggs, vinegar and corn starch until frothy with a hand held or stand mixer with whisk attachment.

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Gradually add sugar while continuously beating meringue, until it is stiff and glossy.  This will take a few minutes, don’t worry if it doesn’t get stiff ASAP.  You will want stiff peaks.

Add vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Scrape meringue out of the bowl with a spatula and into a big pile on your parchment lined sheet. Carefully spread into a 9-10 inch circle with a slight dip in the middle (like a slight canyon, your cream and berries will go in here).  Place this shell in the oven and immediately decrease oven temperature to 275F.

Bake for 1 hour until a pale gold.  Turn off oven and let cool in the oven for at least an hour, until crisp on the outside.

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Rhubarb Topping Steps

While the pavlova is in the oven, start making your topping.

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Mix rhubarb and 3 tbsp sugar in a saucepan and let sit for 10 minutes until some liquid comes out of rhubarb.

Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Decrease heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, until rhubarb breaks down.  Stir a bit as it will help the rhubarb break down.

Remove from heat and cool completely.

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Assembly

Beat cream with 2-4 tbsp sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Carefully fold in rhubarb compote until completely incorporated.

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Top pavlova with cream and strawberries and serve immediately.

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Summer Pound Cake

Strawberry season is GIVING ME LIFE!

There’s seriously nothing better than perfectly fresh, ripe, local berries. There are endless dessert possibilities ranging from complex strawberry pastries to this simple yet delicious dessert.

Honestly, you can whip it together in under 20 minutes (excluding oven time but still).

This pound cake is delicious on its own but is seriously elevated with whipped cream and these delicious strawberries, but try it with any ripe, in season fruit!  It’s perfect for a summer BBQ.

If you make it with other fruits, let me know how it goes in the comments!

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 1-2 tbsp
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla, plus a half cap full
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Whipping cream (1-2 cups depending on how many people you’re serving)
  • Strawberries (or any other berry or in season fruit!)

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and butter and flour a loaf pan (coat with butter and shake around flour so it sticks to the butter, shake out the excess).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly after each addition. Add 2 tsp vanilla and stir.
  3. Add 1 cup flour and 1/2 tsp salt and beat until just combined.  Fold in the final cup of flour until combined and don’t overmix.
  4. Bake for just under an hour (start checking around 50 minutes) until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan then invert onto rack.
  5. Just before serving, whip cream until soft peaks form, add 1-2 tbsp of sugar and half a cap of vanilla (to your preference) and beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Serve slices of cake with cream and berries and enjoy!

Cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

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Lemon Mascarpone Mille-Crepe

What’s better than a crepe?

How about 20+ crepes.

Layered with lemon curd cream.

Topped with mascarpone cream.

I’m in.

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a big fan of lemon desserts and for this crepe cake it was a no brainer.  One of my favourite crepe fillings is one of the most simple, a squirt of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sugar.

I’ve seen crepe cakes a lot recently and it’s always been in the back of my mind to just make one, so I put on some 80s new wave and got to work making a double batch of my favourite crepe recipe (this crepe recipe is perfect for a lazy Saturday morning breakfast too).

While this recipe isn’t too technically difficult, it takes awhile to make all the crepes.  My suggestion would be to use two pans at once and take half the time.  I unfortunately only have one non-stick pan and wasn’t about to use a cup of butter just keeping another pan greased.

Take the plunge, even if you say screw it halfway through, you have a bunch of delicious crepes.

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Crepe Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Lemon Curd Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, plus 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)

Cream Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 5 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Steps

To make the crepes, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.  Add eggs, 1 cup of milk and vanilla and whisk until smooth.  Add remaining milk gradually while constantly whisking until fully mixed.  Whisk in melted butter until smooth.

Heat a 9 inch non-stick pan over medium heat and brush a small amount of butter to grease the pan.  Pour batter 3.5 tbsp at a time into the pan, swirling around until it takes up the pan (the first crepe is usually a write-off, best to eat it…).  Flip the crepe once edges are browning and easily come off the pan.  Cook other side for 10-20 seconds and place on a plate.

Once you’ve cooked half your crepes, place them in the fridge to get a headstart on the cooling process.  Allow all crepes to cool completely in fridge.

To make the lemon curd, mix the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the whole egg, then yolks one at a time, whisking well in between each addition.  Add lemon juice and heat over medium heat stirring constantly until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.  Allow to cool completely.

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To assemble, whisk 1 1/4 cups of cream and 3 tbsp sugar until soft peaks form.  Fold 1/3 of this mixture into the lemon curd until combined, then add this mixture to the rest of the cream, folding until completely combined.

Place a crepe on a cake plate and spread on 3 tbsp of cream mixture, alternating between crepe and cream until complete.

Whisk remaining cream, sugar, mascarpone and vanilla until combined and spread over top and/or side of crepes as desired.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours until set.

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So gooey!

Garnish with lemon zest, pistachios, whatever strikes your fancy!

Crepe recipe adapted from Ricardo cuisine, curd cream recipe from Martha Stewart

 

Key Lime Pie

Last weekend I went to Sanibel Island in Florida for a family ladies weekend.  Florida conjures up a lot of images: giant alligators, weird news articles, seashells, etc, but of course also the ultimate Florida dessert, key lime pie.  I only had one piece while there (could have easily had 1 per day) and I made a mental note to make one when I got home.

I’ve gotta say, for being so insanely delicious and addictive, this pie is super easy to make.  You can use regular limes if you can’t find key limes and it will still turn out delicious.  Perfect dessert for cooling off in the upcoming summer months!

Ingredients (Crust)

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 7 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Ingredients (Filling)

  • 1 tbsp fresh lime zest
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cups sweetened condensed milk (about 1.5 300ml cans)
  • 2/3 cups fresh lime juice (about 4 regular or 12 key limes)

Topping

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in a bowl and add the melted butter, stirring until it looks like wet sand.  Press the mixture (minus a few tablespoons) evenly into a 9-10 inch pie pan using your fingers and a spatula to even out any bumps. Place the crust in the freezer for 10 minutes to set and bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

 

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To make the filling, start by zesting the limes into a medium/large bowl and add the egg yolks.  Using an electric mixer with whisk attachments, beat until pale and thick.

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Add the condensed milk and mix again until thick, it will look like the mixture below.

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Add the lime juice and stir until fully incorporated, it will be a thick cream like below:

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Pour into the pie shell and bake at 350F for 10 minutes until the filling has set.

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Prebaked pie
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Postbaked pie

To make the whipped topping, whip the cream until soft peaks form and mix in the sugar and vanilla.  Once the pie is cool, spread on the topping.

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Et voila!  It’s like you’re in Florida regardless of climate or local wildlife!

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen