If asparagus is the vegetable that announces spring, strawberries are the town criers of the fruit world. To visit a U-pick strawberry field is a fun family activity.
Our favorite spot to pick and purchase strawberries is Norris Farms in Hokes Bluff, Alabama.
To see families with small children picking strawberries always makes me smile. (If you prefer to have your fruit already picked and ready to go, farms generally offer that option as well.)
The following recipe is courtesy of Southern Cast Iron Magazine.
Strawberry Pistachio Bread
This delicious quick bread (no yeast or rising times involved!) is delicious on its own, but with a topping of strawberry butter, everyone will enjoy a slice or three of this one on a weekend morning.
• 2 cups plus 2 teaspoons self-rising flour, divided
• 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
• 1/3 cup finely chopped roasted salted pistachios
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 2 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
• 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch cast-iron loaf pan with baking spray with flour.
In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar and pistachios; make a well in the center of dry ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, melted butter and lemon zest. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture just until combined.
In a small bowl, stir together strawberries and the remaining 2 teaspoons flour; gently stir into batter. Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon sugar onto hot bread. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Remove bread from pan, and let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve with Strawberry Butter.
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1/2 cup coarsely mashed strawberries drained
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, beat butter with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until fluffy. Gradually add strawberries, beating until combined. Beat in lemon zest and vanilla. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Let cold butter stand at room temperature until softened, about 20 minutes, before serving.
Strawberry Cheesecake Cobbler
This dessert is the best of three worlds combined: cake, cheesecake and cobbler!
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
• 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 1½ cups plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 cups whole milk
• 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
• 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour melted butter into a 12-inch cast-iron skillet.
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer at medium speed until creamy, stopping to scrape sides of the bowl. Beat in 3 tablespoons granulated sugar until combined. Beat in vanilla.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and the remaining 1½ cups granulated sugar. Whisk in milk until smooth. Pour batter into melted butter in skillet (do not stir together).
Place strawberry halves all over the batter. Dollop heaping teaspoonfuls of cream cheese mixture all over strawberries.
Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.
Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, shares recipes, table decor ideas and advice on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram and email@example.com.