Strawberry Shortcake

Everything you need for Strawberry Shortcake | www.dearmartini.wordpress.com

Shortcakes, berries and cream are all you need for a fabulous dessert!

Nothing indicates that Spring is finally here like the arrival of strawberries!  If you haven’t already made this classic all-American dessert yet, now’s your chance!

Let’s say you’re invited to a friend’s house for a weekend backyard party… and you want to contribute a dessert to the party but don’t know what to make? Herein lies your salvation. Bring strawberry shortcake! It’s everyone’s favorite! Bring the components with you in separate containers, and assemble just before serving.

There are only three components to this dessert: strawberries, whipped cream, and lightly sweetened biscuits. Follow our how-to videos to help you along with preparing each component. As always, we’ve created a portfolio of all relevant how-to videos on our Vimeo Channel: http://vimeopro.com/dearmartini/strawberry-shortcake. We hope this will earn its place in your arsenal of go-to dessert recipes!

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe | www.dearmartini.wordpress.com

Strawberry Shortcake

Serves 8 to 10

1 recipe shortcakes, recipe follows

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

Bake the shortcakes according to recipe and set aside.  While the shortcakes are baking, prep the strawberries for macerating and whip the cream. Serve immediately.

If you are taking the shortcakes to an event, it’s best to assemble the dessert on site.  Macerate the strawberries and whip the cream immediately before serving.

To assemble for serving:

Slice the biscuits in half and warm them in an oven set to 250°F for 10 minutes (this step is optional, but the biscuits are awesome when they are warmed!)

Arrange the bottom half of a biscuit on a plate. Place a generous spoonful of the macerated strawberries and the resulting syrup on the biscuit. Spoon a generous dollop (or quenelle) of whipped cream over the strawberries. Top with the top half of the biscuit. Repeat with the remaining biscuits. Garnish with either threads of lemon zest or a fanned strawberry. Serve immediately.

Shortcakes

Makes 12 biscuits

* in this recipe, the base recipe for the biscuits is derived from our scone recipe. We like to make our own acidulated milk instead of using buttermilk from the store; so if you wish to use buttermilk, substitute ½ cup for the lemon juice and whole milk.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice or cider vinegar
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups plus ¼ cup all-purpose flour for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (or granulated sugar)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

Mix the lemon juice and milk together and let it stand in the fridge for as long as it takes to prepare the rest of the recipe. If you are using ½ cup buttermilk for this recipe, eliminate this step. Cube the butter and keep in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with a wooden spoon. Add the butter. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender or break up the butter into the flour by rubbing the butter and flour together between your fingers. Do this very quickly and randomly. You should still have lumps of butter varying from small (pea-sized) to large (blueberry sized). Do not let the butter get soft. If it does, return the bowl to the fridge for a few minutes.

Combine the eggs and milk mixture together and add to the flour mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a shaggy, lumpy mass. It’s ok that it’s not smooth or uniformly mixed in. It’s ok to see random lumps of butter still not mixed in.

Transfer the dough onto a well-floured surface and gently, with floured hands, pat it down into a rough rectangle shape about 1-inch thick. Use a spatula and pick up one end of the dough and fold it over in half. Pick up the entire dough piece and turn it 45-degrees. Flour your hands and pat it down into another rectangle.  Repeat this patting, folding, turning method 4-5 more times. Keep flour dusted underneath the dough as you turn it.  For the last pat-down, make sure the rectangle is about 10-12 inches long and 6 inches wide. Transfer the dough to a sheet pan and cover. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to firm up the butter.

Use a 3 ½ -inch diameter biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter to cut the biscuits. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press the scraps together and pat and fold to recombine the dough. DO NOT KNEAD THE DOUGH TOGETHER. Continue cutting out biscuits and reforming the dough until they are all cut. Refrigerate the biscuits for about 30 minutes to firm up the butter.

Just before baking, lightly brush the egg wash over the tops of the biscuits and sprinkle the tops with the turbinado sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The biscuits will be firm to the touch. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool.

Macerated Strawberries:

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

Macerate the sliced strawberries in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let them sit for 15 minutes or keep covered in the fridge until ready to use. In our experience, strawberries taste best when they are cool, or at room temperature. We find that the chill from the refrigerator inhibits their flavor.

Crème Chantilly:

Makes 2 cups

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

 Whip the cream with vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Set all components aside until you are ready to serve.

Strawberry Shortcake and Whole Berries | www.dearmartini.wordpress.com

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Make-Your-Own Granola

Make Your Own Granola

Did you know that it’s inexpensive and easy to make? Did you also know that it tastes better if you make it yourself?

Our idea for granola uses whole nuts, dried fruit and as little oil as possible. We’ve been making our own granola for quite some time now. Whenever we have a handful of leftover nuts or dried fruit after a party, baking project or photo-shoot, the nuts get packed away into the freezer and are marked for a future granola-making session.

To make your own, all you need is about 90 minutes of baking time, and a basic granola recipe. If you binge-watch TV shows on Netflix like we do, you could totally make granola while catching up on The Walking Dead (…or Game of Thrones. Your choice).

Photo of Bowl of Make Your Own Granola and milk

Basic Granola

Makes 10 cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups a rolled oats (not the quick-cook or instant kind)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt,
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups of a combination of any of the following ingredients: raw almonds, sliced almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • 3-4 cups of a combination of any dried fruit: cranberries, raisins, cherries, blueberries, apricot chunks, pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup flaked coconut, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 250℉. Line two baking trays with parchment paper (or foil). Mix the maple syrup with the vegetable oil and stir to combine. It may form a gelatinous mass, and that’s OK.

Close-up photo of Cinnamon and Salt for granolaIn a large bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, a pinch of salt, 4 cups a rolled oats (not the quick-cook or instant kind), and three cups of a combination of any of the following ingredients:

Raw almonds, sliced almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds… you get the idea…

Close-up photo of nuts for Make Your Own GranolaStir the nuts and oats together with the maple syrup mixture and divide the mixture between the two prepared sheetpans. Spread in a single layer and bake in the oven for 90 minutes. We set the timer for 15 minute intervals, and stir the mixture around every time. When the oats and nuts are golden in color, it’s done. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely to room temperature.

Our extra-special ingredient: crystallized ginger bits (a little goes a long way so add only about 1/4 cup). Play with the ingredients. Your granola should have a nice balance between oats, nuts and fruit.

Close-up photo of dried fruit for Make Your Own GranolaWhen the oats are completely cooled, stir in the coconut and dried fruit mixture and transfer to airtight containers for storage.

Give one container to a friend. Pay it forward. Sharing is caring.

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Thank you!

Thank you

Broiled Grapefruit

Drunken Grapefruit

What could be better than grapefruit broiled with rum and brown sugar!

When I was a little girl my favorite Sunday brunches always included Broiled Grapefruit — “drunken grapefruit.” Mom would section the grapefruit and sprinkle them with rum and sugar. Dad would pop them under the broiler and be in charge of making sure they didn’t burn. To my young mind broiled grapefruit was the height of culinary perfection – just the right blend of sweet. sour, bitter, and my first taste of illicit rum.

sugar and spice

Broiled grapefruit are still a big hit in our house.  My only changes from the original recipe are–I prefer the complexity of brown sugar (or honey) to granulated sugar. I also like adding a pinch of cayenne to intensify the sweetness and a pinch of salt to mellow out the bitterness. The secret is all in the broiling. The heat of the broiler brings out the juices and melds all the components into a über-grapefruity, extra-juicy, deliciousness!

Broiled Grapefruit

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ruby red or pink grapefruit
  • 2 tablespoons rum (optional)
The secret is all in the broiling!

The secret is all in the broiling!

  • ¼ cup light or dark brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cayenne

Directions:

Preheat the broiler and adjust your oven rack to about 4-inches from the broiler.

Cut grapefruit in half crosswise.  Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each half so they don’t wobble.

Use a paring knife to cut around each of the segments to release them from the membrane and pith.  It’s an extra step but really improves the eating experience. Sprinkle with rum.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar, salt and cayenne together.  Sprinkle the mixture over the grapefruit.

Broiled Grapefruit

I dare you not to lick the plate!

Place the grapefruit on a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Broil grapefruit until the sugar has melted, and grapefruit is bubbly and slightly brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Transfer broiled grapefruit to individual dishes and serve warm.

Vote Early…. Vote Often… and VOTE FOR US!

saveur video festivalDear Martini is absolutely thrilled to be a part of  the first-ever SAVEUR Video Festival.  As a celebration of food and film online, it will be a curated presentation of the most creative and beautifully-told culinary stories in the world of video.  SAVEUR is a publication that celebrates authentic food, culture, and travel; they crisscross the globe to find honest and surprising stories about people and the meals that bring them together.

This week, after much nail-biting and sleepless nights, Saveur.com announced finalists for their first-ever Saveur Video Festival.  A call for submissions took place earlier in January, asking for videos related to the following categories:

  • Ultra-short form (Less than 60 seconds)
  • How-to and Recipe
  • Documentary
  • Animation and/Experimental
  • Culinary Travel

blanch peas

Dear Martini is excited and proud to announce that we have been picked as a finalist!  Our Blanching Peas video is eligible to win a People’s Choice Award in the Ultra-Short Form category!

Please help us win the People’s Choice by casting your vote for our video and asking everyone you know to go vote for us as well! Simply use this link below, which will take you to the voting page.

http://www.saveur.com/video-festival-2013/vote.jsp?ID=1000014369

Thanks so much for your support!  We are so excited that our little video production endeavor is finally getting some national recognition!  Please spread the word!

WooHOO!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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