Going Bananas Over Strawberries

The local produce market I shop at once a week had a sale on domestic strawberries – just $0.50 a pound!!  Granted, the fruit was about 5 minutes from going bad and it wasn’t organic, but at that price I just couldn’t walk away.  So, I scooped up four packages, raced home and spent yesterday afternoon putting them to good use while they were still fresh.

My first blog post more than two years ago was about strawberries.  Whenever I find a good deal on any type of fruit, I like to buy a lot and preserve it – freezing strawberries and making homemade jam are two of the easiest solutions. To make things a bit more interesting yesterday, I decided to add rhubarb to the recipes.  I love how the tartness of rhubarb contrasts with the sweetness of the strawberries.  Its a classic pairing.

For the mother’s in my life, I made homemade strawberry rhubarb bread.  I found a good recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but I tweaked it a little based on what I had in the pantry.  I also put together a strawberry rhubarb crisp for last night’s dessert, and since we didn’t have any oats I had to improvise with whole wheat flour.  To top it all off, I also made a quick batch of strawberry-rhubarb jam.  Oh so easy and oh so delicious!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Filling:

1 cup diced rhubard

1 cup strawberries, cut in half

1/4 cup sugar (or more if you like it sweeter)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

quick dash of salt

a little fresh lemon juice

Topping:

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup almonds, walnuts or pecans

4 tablespoons (half a stick) of butter, cold and cut into small cubes

2 tablespoons maple syrup (I buy maple syrup from our co-op and, because it is so delicious, I try to work it into a lot or recipes!)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine all filling ingredients and stir well to coat the fruit.  Pour into a small baking dish (about 8×8).

Using the same bowl, whisk the flour, sugars, cinnamon, salt and nuts.  Drop the butter cubes into the flour, and work the butter into the flour using your hands.  Once the butter and flour resemble coarse crumbs, stir in the maple syrup.  Drop the topping onto the strawberries.

Bake for 30-40 minutes – until the topping is brown and the fruit is bubbling. Delicious served warm with ice cream or cold for breakfast the next day!

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

2 cups chopped strawberries

1/2 – 1 cup diced rhubarb

1/3 – 1 cup sugar (I don’t like my jam too sweet, so feel free to add as much or as little sugar as you’d like)

Juice from 1/2 lemon

Put strawberries into a saucepan and mash well with a potato masher. Add rhubarb and sugar, and mix well.  Bring to a simmer over very low heat, and cook until the jam reduces and reaches your desired consistency.  This will depend a lot on the juiciness of the berries.  I cooked mine for about an hour.  Be sure to stir often and keep the heat low – if the jam burns it ruins the batch and is a nightmare to clean!!

Once it is done, pour into an old jam jar.  This will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Strawberry Rhubarb Bread (inspired by Smitten Kitchen)

1 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I prefer homemade vanilla extract)
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
6 oz plain yogurt (I prefer homemade yogurt)
1 cup diced rhubarb
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Topping:

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
4 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Beat together the brown sugar, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla and rum. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to first mixture with the yogurt. Stir in strawberries, rhubarb and almonds.  The batter will be thick.

Spread into two greased 9×5-inch loaf pans. Combine topping ingredients except the almonds, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; add the almonds and sprinkle the topping mixture over the loaves.

Bake at 350° for about 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

A particularly lovely idea is to top a slice of warm strawberry rhubarb bread with a slather of warm strawberry rhubarb jam.

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Written by Maureen

More posts by: Maureen

1 Comment for this entry

  1. Margie says:

    Those look fantastic! Can’t wait to try them. Thanks!

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