Strawberries Are In Season

You can smell them at the Farmer’s Markets; they look gorgeous at the local produce stands. So. Are you ready to start baking? Well, maybe not yet. But somehow, you’ve volunteered to bring a dessert for the picnic in the park. Not to worry—you’ve got Strawberries. And this simple recipe—from Jacques Pepin’s charming “Heart and Soul” series.

Strawberry Cake (serves 10-15)

• 1 quart (or more) strawberries—washed and dried
• 8 oz. mascarpone cream (cream cheese with a bit of sour cream is a substitute)
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• Sour cream or Half & Half
• 1 pound cake (home-made or store-bought)
• ¼ cup Fruit liqueur (Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, Cointreau, etc)
• ½ cup strawberry jam

Whirl a few washed strawberries in blender; add a bit of fruit juice, honey and lemon juice to reach consistency of heavy cream. Slice pound cake, trim and closely pack to cover bottom of 3-3.5 qt. baking pan; sprinkle cake liberally with liqueur. Spread strawberry mixture evenly on cake and allow to absorb. Slightly warm cheese to soften; add sugar and sour cream or Half & Half and briskly whisk until spreadable. Gently spread cheese over cake taking care not to disturb moist cake and strawberry mixture. Hull and cut remaining strawberries in half; place cut side down over cheese to cover. Warm jam slightly, add a few drops of liqueur and carefully glaze the strawberries with clean brush. Sprinkle finely torn mint sprigs over center of cake. Don’t heat the oven; don’t set the timer. You’re done.

The Kitchen Hive

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