Monday, July 9, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake Muffins Kicked into Dessert for #Muffin Monday


My maternal grandmother was a wonderful homemaker.  In addition to running a business full-time with my grandfather, she did the grocery shopping and cooked the meals and cleaned house.   I seem to recall that they had a lady in to do the ironing once a week.  And, of course, we pitched in when we visited.  Especially my mother.

The store was in the front of their property on one of the main streets going through New Iberia, LA and their house was in the back so they were never really off-duty if someone had a major appliance emergency.   Their home number must have been given out when an appliance sold because hardly a weekend or holiday went by without a call from someone who needed help with a recalcitrant machine.  Back in the day, Maytag appliances were only sold in smaller shops, by authorized sellers who also provided service when needed.  My grandparents only sold Maytag washers and dryers (and other brands of refrigerator and freezers and stoves) but my grandfather would service anything so he was never lonely like the repairman on the television ads.  Some of my best childhood memories are riding around with him in his old truck, meeting the farmers’ wives out in the country and, trying to be an able assistant, handing him the tools he needed to make repairs. 

While my grandmother was a good cook, time did not allow for fussiness or time-consuming dishes.  She had a number of solid recipes that took advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables and which were simple to make and always well-received.  One of her most popular was strawberry shortcake.  She would buy the little round sponge cakes at the grocery store and macerate (although I am sure she never called it that) her freshly sliced strawberries with a generous amount of sugar.  After the strawberries created their own syrup, she would whip cream and serve a good helping of strawberries on each of the little cakes and then top with whipped cream.  What could be more simple or more delicious? 

I give you these:  Strawberry Shortcake Muffins.  My grandmother’s strawberry shortcake kicked up a notch or two because 1) freshly baked at home and 2) rich cream IN the muffin AND on top and 3) strawberries IN the muffn AND on top.

This is part of #Muffin Monday and the muffin recipe comes from Seasons and Suppers a great website if you are trying to eat more seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Ingredients
For the muffins
2 cups or 250g  all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup or 170g granulated sugar
1/2 cup or 115g butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 egg
1 cup or 240ml heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
9 oz or 250g (after hulling and dicing) strawberries

For the strawberry sauce
9 oz or 250g strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the whipped cream
2 cups or 480ml heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

(Photo disclaimer:  I discovered as I started this project that my dear husband had my camera in his backpack.  And I had just put him on a plane back to Cairo.  I had to use an old tiny Canon until younger daughter’s lovely Canon SLR could charge.  I apologize in advance for the dark and blurry method photos.)

Method
Preheat oven to 350° F or 180°C.  Grease or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. 

Hull and dice your muffin strawberries.


In large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar.  Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender (or two knives) until it is in small pea-size pieces.  (Mine was more like soft sand.)





In small bowl mix the egg, vanilla and cream.  




Add all at once to flour mixture. Stir with spoon or rubber spatula until just blended.  Gently fold in the diced strawberries.




Spoon into muffin cups, making sure each muffin has some strawberries and bake for about 25 minutes.



Meanwhile, hull and slice your sauce strawberries.


Pop them in a small pot with the sugar, water, lemon juice and cornstarch.



Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens slightly and the cornstarch cooks clear instead of milky looking.  Remove from heat and set aside.

No food coloring, I swear!  Doesn't it turn a gorgeous red?!

When the muffins are baked, remove them from the oven and cool completely before removing from the pan.




When you are ready to serve, add in the vanilla and whip your cream with a whisk or electric beaters until soft peaks form. 


Cut the muffin into two (removing the muffin liner if used) and spoon over some of the strawberry sauce.


Add a spoon or two of whipped cream.


Enjoy!

(End note:  I should say that these muffins are divine just on their own as well!)

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week. 

Check out everyone else’s version of the strawberry shortcake muffin here.  I love my fellow #MuffinMonday folks and you will too!



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10 comments :

  1. Genius idea, great storytelling too.

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  2. Great post, Stacy! I loved these muffins too! What a fantastic recipe and delicious dessert! :)

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  3. Thanks for your kind words, Janice. I love the baking but the storytelling behind the recipe makes it even more fun for me.

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  4. Thank you! Your comment just reminded me to add an end note: These muffins are great all on their own as well! My daughter ate two before I could even fancy them up.

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  5. Loved reading your post! And your muffins look spectacular. This recipe is definitely a keeper :)

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  6. It is a keeper! I love the #MuffinMonday choices so far! Thank you for your kind words. :)

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  7. Your muffins sound (and look) fantastic!! YUM!

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  8. Thanks, Kate! They are tasty with or without the extra cream and strawberry sauce but they are definitely prettier with.

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  9. Whenever I baked with strawberries, I failed. Somehow I can not get the consistency of batter right. I will try this muffin recipe to break the curse :)

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  10. This batter is so thick that you cannot fail, Ilke. I am also fond of strawberry cake with ground almonds. I have made that recipe countless times without fail. http://www.foodlustpeoplelove.com/2012/06/sunny-scottish-strawberry-cake.html
    Give either one a try!

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