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Great Berries Alive!

Great Berries Alive!

(Strawberries that is)

Some of summer’s best aha moments are the smells of the season; and boy, do we love our strawberries.  Abundant flavor, rich in vitamins, colorful and plentiful, strawberries are a delightful addition to almost anything… from a bountiful homemade jam, refreshing vinaigrette, yummy tart, to a delectable bowl accompanying any meal, strawberries rule. With all the fresh markets around during the summer, no doubt they’ll be many a strawberry you will meet. So, why not get to know who these players are?

Here, we give you a little description of the types you may come across, kind of the ‘who’s who of strawberries’. *

Allstar
Definitely a paler shade of red than other strawberry cousins; but don’t let this fool you – these berries are definitely really sweet and juicy. They are fabulous to eat, cut up with a bit of balsamic vinegar and light live oil for a vinaigrette that screams summer.

Hood
This is the epitome of what strawberry taste is all about, and the flavor is at its best in this variety. Grown in Oregon, this fella doesn’t need much more than a bowl and some takers. You’ll see why; they’ll disappear in a second.  Once you eat one, you can’t stop.

Seascape
Bright red and perfect in shape, these strawberries are not overly sweet which makes them the ideal candidate for homemade jams, jellies, or strawberry shortcake.

Mignonette
Usually found in specialty markets, these petite berries are especially fragrant and often used in fruit tarts, or as a perfect mix in your next summer fruit salad.

Earliglow
One of the common berries you find in farmers’ markets and fruit stands; these are deep red, glossy and just plain delicious.  They are also great for jams, and you are most likely to find them all summer long.

Tristar
An oblong shaped berry…that makes you feel like it’s one of the wild ones you may see growing on the side of a road.  But they aren’t!!!  Tristars are the most tender of the berries you’ll find; lightly wash, carefully dry, and enjoy them with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

Easy Strawberry Tart ** 
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
w/pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter (room temp)
plus 2 tbsp. for coating pan
1 cup sugar, plus 2tbsp
2 large eggs (room temp)
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. fresh strawberries, halved
Juice of half a lemon (discard seeds)
½ tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.  Cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 mins.

2. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Using a mixer on low speed, incorporate flour mixture until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill about 20 mins.

3. Arrange strawberries in concentric circles on tip of chilled dough.  Pour lemon juice evenly over the strawberries. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon together, and sprinkle over strawberries.

4. Bake tart until edges are golden and center is set (about 45 minutes). When tart is cool, run a sharp knife around the edge and remove from the sides of the pan.

(Grandparentslink.com tip: you can accompany this with a drop of vanilla ice cream which is our version, or some whipped topping- but this tart is yummy all on it’s own!)

 

 

* Info on strawberries was reprinted from the article:

Berry Picking, Bonappetit Magazine, June 2013, pages 119 to 121

** Recipe reprinted from

People Magazine, 5/20/13, page 100

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