Strawberries are available all the time. The season stretches from Chile to Vancouver and covers the whole year. They have become a staple at the store. This season, traditionally May through July, has no end.
To tell you the truth, the self-picked ones are the best. I used to scavenge for strawberries at the farm fields near my mother’s house in Germany. This summer, we indulged in farm fresh berries from the fields around Ottawa. A heavenly taste!
Strangely enough, our Indian family didn’t share the same passion for strawberries. Why? When they were living in New Delhi, the strawberries were imported from Kashmir. There they were picked “green,” so to say. How sour and expensive they were!
But imagine what these Indians have been missing! (like I have missed all the mango and lychee stuff, duh) I skipped through the forest as a child, picking the fragrant pearls of wild candy berries. Sometimes enough to make a torte with them
Nothing beats ripe strawberries and fresh whipped dream. Strawberry shortcake is simply delicious. What else can you do with strawberries? Mush them up in a smoothie, put them on cereal, stir them into yogurt, cut some into your salad—if you have too many, cook marmalade or syrup.
Here is a recipe, Bohemian Strawberry Torte. My friend Edda Buchner brought my attention to. I baked this many years ago and rediscovered it. It is really quick and easy. You can whip this cake out in 30 minutes before company is coming.
- 2 egg yolks
- 6 oz. flour (whole wheat or white)
- 2 oz. cornstarch
- 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1 Tbs. vanilla essence (or rum flavor)
- 4 egg whites, beat
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1 Tbs. vanilla sugar
- 16 oz. strawberries
Separate the egg white from the yolk; don’t let the least bit of yolk get into the whites, else the snow won’t stiffen up. (yeah, two egg yolks will be left over)
Put all the dry ingredients for the crust in a large bowl, make an indentation in the middle, drop the egg yolks in there and stir them lightly in there. Add small butter pieces and knead this into a smooth shortbread ball. (Refrigerate for 30 minutes, if too sticky.)
Roll or press the dough into a 9- (or 12-) inch spring form or pie shell. Build a little “retainer wall” (ring) around the pie. Pierce the shell with a fork (to avoid bulging). Bake shell at 180 F approximately for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Whisk the egg whites, with sugar and vanilla sugar, insanely stiff. So stiff that you could easily cut it in cubes.
Fill the egg white into the toasty shell, drop the cleaned strawberries into the white “linens,” and bake this at 450 F for a couple of minutes until the peaks of egg white turn a golden color.
Enjoy the yumberry torte!