Is any food a harbinger of spring as much as the ruby-red strawberry? Berries tend to be the number-one most popular fruit in America, and seeing the little green containers start to fill up at the farmer’s market is a gorgeous thing indeed. If you’re stuck in a rut with your go-to recipes or are simply determined to eat more strawberries this year, here’s where we’d start.
Two great tastes that taste great together, rhubarb and strawberries complement one another as well as chocolate and vanilla. This brown butter pound cake with strawberry-rhubarb compote showcases the classic duo wonderfully. Orange juice, sugar and a touch of salt help the traditionally savory and traditionally sweet elements marry without a hitch.
You don’t even need to wait for the fruit to be in season to dig into strawberry jam sandwich cookies (although making your own jam would put this recipe over the top). The stained-glass treatment makes them pretty enough to bring to a baby shower or dinner party. And even though they look like you could have bought them at the bakery, they’re not difficult to execute, and don’t require fancy equipment.
Can’t decide between a pie and a crumble? We’ve all been there, so go for both. This strawberry-rhubarb crumble pie employs a pie base and simple streusel topping. That rhubarb-berry combo you love makes a cameo again, plus you’ve got notes of ginger, orange zest and orange juice to keep things light and, yes, springy.
Sometimes you just need to take things up a notch, presentation-wise. For that, this stunning millefeuille more than delivers. The word means “thousand leaves” in French, a nod to the elegant layers of pastry in the original. This incarnation uses frozen storebought puff pastry to save the home cook time and headaches. In fact, this version—combining fresh fruit, sweet whipped cream and delicate pastry—comes together in just 30 minutes.
OK, yes, we’re obsessed with strawberries and rhubarb together. But this crust-free brown betty combining them is more than worth your time. It’s as easy as a crisp (one of the simplest baked goods), and gets a punch of aromatics from nutmeg and light brown sugar, which mingle with bread crumbs for a delicate texture.
Ricotta and strawberries, whether in savory or sweet form, are ideal foils for one another. If you’ve never made homemade ricotta, it’s a snap, and is key to this cheesecake with strawberry sauce. The crust is a simple graham cracker-food processor number that comes together in a flash. Crème fraîche joins orange zest and vanilla in the bright ricotta filling. To finish, spoon a citrus-spiked strawberry sauce over the whole thing, to knockout effect.
For some berry lovers, there is strawberry shortcake, and then there’s everything else. Shortcake, to these folks, is the ne plus ultra of desserts. This recipe is fabulous because of its simplicity. You just drop the batter onto prepared baking sheets, brush it with cream, and give it a quick bake. The shortcakes emerge golden and ready for their dream counterparts: sweetened whipped cream and macerated strawberries. Serve them warm, and enjoy all the compliments.