By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
At last, at long last, plenty of red, ripe, luscious local strawberries. Obviously, this calls for immediate eat action, and we have two choices, both of which are simple, easy and fairly fast-fixers. (If you don’t tell anybody, they’ll think you slaved over them for hours.)
The first how-to comes to us from Dianna Biringer of Biringer Farm in Arlington.
“Trifle is the traditional favorite Christmas dessert at Biringer Farm’s family gathering,” she says. “For the Christmas trifle, I use a mixture of frozen strawberries, raspberries and tayberries, thickened with cornstarch and sugar for the fruit component of the trifle with other ingredients.
“For a refreshing summer strawberry dessert, I submit the following recipe with a different twist, using fresh berries.’’
The second sweet treat starts with buttery tart shells, spread with a layer of sweetened, lemon-kissed mascarpone cheese, and filled with fresh strawberries and drizzled with a strawberry-port glaze. The recipe was created by Daphne Baking Co. for its frozen tart shells, which unfortunately are not available here, so we’ll have to substitute homemade shells or find another brand.
Biringer Farm summer strawberry trifle
1loaf of vanilla pound cake or angel food cake, sliced, or an equal amount of ladyfingers
1cup strawberry jam
16ounces vanilla yogurt, divided
1/4cup lemon curd (or more to taste)
2cups fresh strawberries (or part strawberries and raspberries, mixed), plus 3 whole berries for garnish
1cup sliced bananas, swished in lemon juice and drained
2tablespoons chopped walnuts or almonds
Place slices of pound or angel food cake or ladyfingers in a deep-sided glass dish; spread with the strawberry jam. Combine half the yogurt and lemon curd and spread over the jam layer. Layer with the strawberries or a combination of the berries and bananas. Top with the remaining yogurt. Sprinkle with nuts. Garnish with the whole berries. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed.
Strawberry mascarpone tarts
3/4pound strawberries, rinsed, drained, trimmed and halved
1/4cup granulated sugar
8ounces mascarpone (about 2 cups), at room temperature
1/8cup powdered sugar
1/2teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup ruby port wine (optional)
8(31/4-inches each) tart shells
In a small bowl, combine the strawberries and granulated sugar; set aside for 30 minutes. Strain strawberries in a sieve set over a small saucepan. Reserve berries. Add port to the strawberry juice and boil liquids in saucepan until the liquid thickens, about 10 minutes. Pour into a small bowl to cool slightly.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the mascarpone, powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and a pinch of salt and whisk until stiff.
Spread the mascarpone mixture evenly in tart shells and top with the reserved strawberries. Drizzle evenly with the strawberry-port sauce and serve immediately.
The next Forum will appear in Friday’s Time Out section.