I was very excited yesterday to find the first Ontario strawberries of the season at the market. They were considerably more expensive than the anemic imported strawberries sitting next to them but their sweet flavour was worth the extra couple of dollars. They actually tasted the way strawberries should taste and not like half-ripe, flavourless berries that were shipped hundreds of miles! Hopefully the great weather we’ve been having this spring means we’ll have a long season to enjoy them.
A perfectly ripe, in-season strawberry is pretty much perfect as-is but you can have fun with them too. They’re great in pies, shortcakes, jam or even cocktails but one of my favourite ways to enjoy them is sprinkled with a bit of sugar and topped with real whipped cream. Strawberry and vanilla-flecked cupcakes topped with creamy frosting and fresh berries turn this idea into a fun dessert that is perfect for summer gatherings. They’re sure to be a hit with kids of all ages (the last time I made them, they disappeared within minutes!).
Bon Appétit and Enjoy!