Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

I can’t stop buying strawberries! They’re difficult to resist, especially when North Carolina strawberries are in the market. Plus, May is Strawberry Month in North Carolina so I must celebrate and support my local industry.

My skin should be turning pink. I add strawberries to breakfast cereal, toast with ricotta cheese and frozen banana smoothies. I snack on them straight from the frig. I even served them for dinner one night, topping a spinach and arugula salad with strawberries and grilled spiced chicken. I’ll get my full share over the next few weeks and won’t probably buy them again until next season. Unless I cave and buy long-distance strawberries, but I really hope I can hold out.

This recipe has been tempting me since last year’s strawberry season when I found it on The Kitchn blog. It’s originally from Gourmet magazine. I finally made it last weekend. It’s quick and easy to put together, only requiring a small amount of hands-on time, mostly to make the “dumpling” portion of the recipe.

It looks like a mess but is delicious. If your strawberries are really sweet, you could probably reduce the sugar a bit. And please, don’t forget to buy some good French vanilla ice cream to add to your bowl of steaming strawberry dumpling. I can also vouch that it’s fantastic for breakfast, but not advised if self-control is an issue for you.

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Strawberry Dumpling

You’ll need a 4-qt heavy saucepan with lid, medium bowl, whisk and pastry blender (optional).

  • 1 quart strawberries, trimmed and thickly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • heavy cream or ice cream

Stir together strawberries and sugar in a 4-qt heavy saucepan and let stand, stirring occasionally, until juicy, about 15 minutes. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Blend in butter using a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Stir in milk until just blended, then add mixture to boiling berries and stir once or twice.

Tightly cover saucepan and reduce heat to low. Cook undisturbed until dumpling looks dry on top, 16 to 20 minutes. Let stand off heat, uncovered, 5 minutes before serving.

Original recipe: Stovetop Strawberry Dumplings, The Kitchn and Strawberry Dumpling, Gourmet, June 2009

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