Last winter was a bad time for California strawberries — and it could have been worse for strawberry farmers.
exist Harry’s Berries In Oxnard, Calif., downpours “flattened” acres of strawberry beds, said operations manager Kristopher Gean, whose grandfather Harry Iwamoto spent more than 50 years This farm was started before. Each bed had to be dug by hand, costing the farm more than $100,000 in labor.
Even so, the berries that survived and made it to market were bloated, bland and expensive. “Everyone on Instagram was complaining: ‘These berries don’t taste good,'” Mr Jean said. “They’re right.”
From January to March, bad weather and lackluster berries are the norm for California farmers, who grow about 85 percent of the U.S.’s commercial strawberries. The destroyed crops are low yielding, driving up the price of any berries you can find by astronomical amounts.
Things are finally turning around: California berries are back on the market, as sweet as ever, and at more reasonable prices. As the weather warms, strawberries from other regions are also starting to hit the market, making their way to farmers markets and supermarkets across the country in bright red.
And what better way to celebrate their return than with a berry dessert?
While many strawberry-stuffed baked goods get a little soggy from the raw berries luring moisture into the crumb or rind, these three new recipes are different. They treat the berries before roasting — simmering, roasting, or dipping — to concentrate the berries and allow them to preserve better in pastries and cakes.
this Elegant Flaky Pie The strawberries are briefly simmered in the syrup until they glisten like rubies. Then, serve them atop a rich cream cheese mixture spread on top of the puff pastry. The tarts come out of the oven with a crispy, buttery crust that keeps for hours and is perfect for making ahead.
Dip the berries in sugar before baking them into cookies to keep them from getting sticky.You can then sandwich these biscuits with more macerated berries and whipped cream for the juiciest fruit Double Strawberry Shortcake As you can imagine, poppy seeds are used for extra crunch.
Last but not least, in these Almond biscuitsrich brown butter, the berries are briefly toasted before being mixed into the batter for a rich flavor and caramelized juices to liven up the jam.
These techniques will help bring out the best in any berry, and they’re also perfect for keeping in your back pocket next winter in case bad weather and dull berries return.
But now, this year’s berries are ripe for all the roasting and other manipulations.