Strawberries and Dumplings


Two weeks back, right before getting our dog Cassidy, I was going to make a strawberry and rhubarb pie. However, Cassidy arrived into our home sweetly taking up all of our evening hours to sit and look at her, pet her, walk her…you know…typical “We have a puppy” honeymoon stuff. Not that the honeymoon period is wearing off, I did realize I needed to make something and got back into looking at a strawberry rhubarb pie, except the rhubarb season has swiftly moved past me. And by swiftly, I mean I was really really late to the game. You’re supposed to harvest no later than mid-June, so the stalks can grow back and be strong through the winter and come back better than ever (yes, my interpretation of reading rhubarb literature). Okay, that’s just fine. What to do with those strawberries in the fridge that are quickly going bad? Smitten Kitchen had the best answer: Strawberries and Dumplings (please go see her pictures, they are awesome). It’s a really cute little dish, quick to make, hits the late night I-want-something-sweet-now spot and would be fun to make as a dessert for a dinner party as it holds up well over a couple of hours sitting. Her recipe is adapted from Gourmet’s recipe last year, and I agree with her pulling back on the sugar – her recipe below is the one I followed, and was delicious.

The following text is from Smitten Kitchen. To see more of her recipes, please visit her recipe index here (it’s awesome) and if you’re into it, you can look forward to her upcoming cookbook.:
Strawberries and Dumplings
Adapted wildly from Gourmet
Serves 6, in theory

1 quart (about 2 pints or 4 cups or 1.25 pounds or just shy of 600 grams) strawberries, trimmed and thickly sliced (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup sugar (though I might try this with brown sugar next time, just to up the cozy quotient)
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Accompaniment: Heavy cream

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

Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Heat the milk and butter together just until the butter melts. Stir this warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth. Gather a golf-ball-sized portion of the dumpling batter onto a small spoon, then push the dumpling onto the stew using a second spoon. (I used a small cookie scoop for this — a #70. It made 16 dumplings. Yes, I counted because someone always asks these things!) Cover the fruit with the dumplings, leaving about 1/4 inch between each.

Tightly cover saucepan and reduce heat to low. Cook, undisturbed, until dumpling looks dry on top, 15 to 18 minutes; the dumplings will have doubled in size. Let stand off heat, uncovered, five minutes, then drizzle with heavy cream right before serving.

This dish definitely tastes best freshly made, as the dumplings do dry out a bit by the second. But then it starts to taste like a cobbler, and really, who is going to complain about that?

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