July 7 is National Strawberry Sundae Day, so now we have an official excuse to indulge and take advantage of the season’s fresh strawberry crop. Not that we need any excuses, though; most of us love our strawberries no matter what. I recently returned from a vacation in Ontario, Canada, where their strawberry season was just beginning. Surprisingly, none of the restaurants where I dined featured strawberries on their dessert menus. The berries in the markets seemed not quite ripe yet, so I avoided those. Now I am so hungry for ripe, fresh local strawberries, so let’s get down to business. I hope you had a wonderful and safe July 4 holiday.
Strawberry sundae yogurt ice pops
3/4 cup non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
5 tablespoons 100 percent fruit strawberry jelly or jam
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons non-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 ounces fresh strawberries, stems removed
3-4 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
In blender or food processor, combine the yogurt, jelly or jam, light brown sugar, milk and vanilla. Process mixture until it becomes as smooth as you want; leave a few strawberry bits if you like. Turn off blender and add chocolate chips, then process just until evenly mixed in.
Divide evenly between 10 three-ounce ice pop molds. Freeze until solid, then unmold when ready to serve. Makes 10 ice pops.
Strawberry cheesecake sundaes
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/3 cups vanilla ice cream
2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
Dash ground cinnamon
In a small bowl, combine strawberries and sugar; set aside. In another bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth.
Spoon ice cream into two dessert dishes; layer each with 1/4 cup strawberries. Top with cream cheese mixture and remaining strawberries. Combine cracker crumbs and cinnamon; sprinkle over sundaes. Makes 2 servings.
Strawberry shortcake sundaes
1 quart vanilla ice cream
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, plus some whole ones for garnish
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Dash of salt
Pound cake or your favorite shortcake
Strawberry sauce (recipe follows)
Beat ice cream in a bowl just until softened. Fold in 3/4 cup strawberry sauce, leaving several streaks. Transfer to a loaf pan; cover with plastic wrap. Freeze at least 2 hours and up to 2 weeks.
Toss strawberries with sugar, lemon juice and salt in a bowl; let stand 30 minutes.
Slice pound cake 1/2 inch thick, then cut out 2 1/2 -inch rounds with a cookie cutter. Place 2 scoops of ice cream in each serving glass. Add a pound-cake round, more strawberry sauce, and some sliced-strawberry mixture. Top with another scoop of ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, and a whole berry; serve.
1 pound strawberries, quartered
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Stir together berries, sugar, salt and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, mashing with a potato masher and stirring frequently. Cook at a low boil, stirring more often as mixture thickens, until sauce clings to a spoon, about 10 minutes.
Skim foam from top. Let cool completely. Makes 1 1/2 cups sauce.
Strawberry sundaes with buttermilk biscuits
1 quart strawberry ice cream
1 pint fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and quartered
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1 pint heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 pint fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed, sliced and sprinkled with sugar
4 buttermilk biscuits, halved (recipe follows)
To make the strawberry sauce: In a small saucepan combine the first pint of strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and water over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until the berries are cooked down. Puree mixture in a blender and allow to cool.
To assemble sundaes: Place the bottom of a biscuit in a sundae glass. Add a scoop of ice cream and drizzle with some of the strawberry sauce. Add whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries. Repeat with a second layer of all elements, ending with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Makes 4 servings.
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 -inch pieces
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Using fingertips, rub 3/4 cup chilled butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened.
Using 1/4 cup dough for each biscuit, drop biscuits onto baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Makes 12 servings.