Time is ripe for strawberry season
by Daniel Porubiansky
March 20, 2014 12:44 AM | 1676 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Strawberry Shortcake is always a hit. Sweet Florida strawberries are in abundance at area grocery stores right now.<br>Special to the Cherokee Tribune
Strawberry Shortcake is always a hit. Sweet Florida strawberries are in abundance at area grocery stores right now.
Special to the Cherokee Tribune
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One of the early signs that spring is around the corner is the peak of the Florida strawberry crop. That time is now. I really like the flavor and the deep color of the Florida strawberry.

They are in abundance now at stores such as Publix, BJ’s, Aldi, etc. I use these same stores when purchasing my strawberries, as I get to pick the ones I like the best.

This recipe reminds me of my childhood, as it was my father’s favorite dessert. It’s a fairly easy recipe that you can do at home. We make ours with pound cake, the best baker’s pairing for this crop.

This is always a hit when we serve it as a special at our restaurant.

(This recipe serves 6-8 people.)

Cake Ingredients:

* 9x5 pan

* ½ lb. butter (softened)

* 1 ½ cups sugar

* 3 whole eggs

* 2 cups cake flour (sifted)

* ½ tbsp. baking powder

* ¼ tsp. salt

* ½ cup milk

* 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

* Grated zest of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour your cake pan. In a mixer, on high speed, beat butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and lemon zest until fluffy (approximately 3 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add milk. Steadily add sifted flour and baking powder until fully incorporated (do not over mix). Transfer mixture into baking pan and place on center rack of oven for approximately one hour (all ovens are different, it could require more/less time but a tooth pick should come out of the center clean when finished. Remove from oven, let rest 10 minutes, and remove from pan and let rest on wire rack until cool. The cake can be made a day ahead of time.

Strawberry Compote Ingredients:

* 2 quarts Florida strawberries (washed, topped, and quartered)

* 1/3 cup of sugar

* 1/3 cup of water

* Juice of the zested lemon from above

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium pan over medium heat, combine ½ of the strawberries and all remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, blend immediately, and pour the juice over the remaining raw strawberries. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on counter until cool. Refrigerate at least one hour prior to serving. This can also be made a day ahead.

Whipped Cream Ingredients:

* ½ a quart of heavy whipping cream

* ½ cup powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Whip to a medium peak, remove from mixture and refrigerate until ready to use. I recommend whipping the cream the day you’ll be serving your dessert.

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