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Maru Market Menu recipe: Strawberries

Posted: April 21, 2009 4:47 p.m.
Updated: April 21, 2009 4:46 p.m.
 
April, what a lovely month. So many ephemeral images spring to mind with the thought of April - daffodils, sun showers, lilacs, and, of course, ripe juicy strawberries.

You are sure to find loads of plump strawberries at the market now. Chef Jason Park of Maru Valencia recommends Harry's Berries, which are local and can be found at the Sunday Farmers' Market at College of the Canyons.

To be sure, the perfect strawberry doesn't need any dressing up. It is delicious all by itself. However, when married with a sweet buttery biscuit and velvety whip cream, strawberries become heavenly.

Strawberry Shortcake is on the menu at Maru right now and Park gives a slightly modern twist to the traditional recipe with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and honey. He cautions that only the finest honey and balsamic will do. "If they don't taste good on their own, why would the whole composed dessert taste good?" said Park.

Strawberries are a great source of antioxidents.

Shortcake
Maru Valencia
Flour 1 lb 15 ½ oz (4 cups)
Baking Powder 2 1/8 oz (1/4 cup)
Salt 1/4 oz (1 1/4 tsp)
Sugar 8 oz (1 cup)
Butter, cold 1 lb (16 oz)
Eggs 4 each
Milk, whole, 11 oz (1 1/3 cup)
Strawberries, washed and hulled

Procedure:
1. Combine all the dry ingredients into a bowl and sift twice.
2. Pulse the butter and the dry ingredients together in a food processor until it looks like moist corn meal. Alternatively, you can cut it together by hand with a fork or a dough cutter.
3. Add the eggs and milk to the food processor and pulse until just combined. Scrape down the sides every few pulses. Do not over mix.
4. On a nice big countertop dusted with flour, roll out the dough to a thickness of one inch.
5. Cut out with ring mold. Make sure the cutting edge is sharp and clean of dough or it will not rise straight up, it will balloon on top. We use 4" cutters, but you can use smaller ones.
6. Brush the tops with milk mixed with a pinch of salt.
7. Sprinkle tops of the cut out dough with a little sugar.
8. Bake in a 425F convection oven for 9 minutes. Your oven may be different, so remove them when the tops turn a light golden brown.
9. Cover with paper towels to keep moist until ready to serve.

Whipped Cream:
Whip 1/2 C of powdered sugar, 1 C of Manufacturing cream (can substitute heavy cream), and a pinch of sea salt to medium peaks.

Balsamic Honey:
Mix 9 T of honey with 1T Balsamic Vinegar. Measure out the balsamic first. It will help keep the honey from sticking too much to the spoon.

To serve, cut the shortcakes open, layer with a little whipped cream on the bottom, a mound of strawberries, another dollop of whipped cream and, finally, the top of the shortcake. Drizzle with the balsamic honey.
You can watch Park make this recipe at www.watchjason.com.

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