Theresa’s Prize-Winning Scones with Strawberry Jam & Clotted Cream

March 12, 2018

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I can’t believe it! Here it is, March already. And St. Patrick’s Day is a mere 5 days away! That means it is time to start my annual St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-thon. In the days leading up to March 17th I will be sharing a delicious assortment of Irish-y recipes. I’ve been doing this for several years now, so I’ve collected 106 St. Patrick’s Days recipes at this point. Yup! I said over one hundred!!! And that doesn’t take into account all the delicious dishes coming your way this year. If you’d like to take a peek at my past St. Patrick’s Day posts, you can click Runcible Eat/Recipes up at the top navigation bar and scroll down to the St. Patrick’s Day category. That’s where you’ll find them! And stay tuned here for my latest additions. I am very excited to kick off this year’s series of Irish recipes with Theresa’s Prize-Winning Scones with Strawberry Jam & Clotted Cream.

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You may be thinking “Who’s Theresa?” – well let me tell you. Theresa is one of my best friends from college. She is amazing in the kitchen. I remember back when we were starving students, and practically surviving on buttered toast (and perhaps the occasional pint or two…), we had actually run out of sliced bread. I looked around the kitchen and quickly announced “We’ve got nothing to eat in there.” Theresa popped out to the kitchen and returned in no time with a big plate of warm fluffy lovely scones. Just like that! To me, who definitely was not of any use in the kitchen at that point (all my cooking skills developed post marriage) it was nothing short of magic! A couple of years ago, Theresa published her first cookbook where you can find the recipe for these scones and the strawberry jam along with over 100 other delicious seasonal fruit recipes. It is called Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen.

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Theresa runs a business, The Green Apron, which is an artisan preserve company. Theresa grows much of the fruit and vegetables she uses in her preserves at her family’s orchards at Derryclough and in the walled vegetable garden at her parents 18th Century castle, Glenwilliam.

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Her award-winning preserves are made in small batches by traditional methods using locally sourced, organic produce where possible and without artificial preservatives, colours or setting agents. The Green Apron has won 12 Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards, 7 International Great Taste awards and is listed not only in McKenna’s Guide, but also in Georgina Campbell’s Guide. The Green Apron is also now offering workshops on sustainable living, preserving and bee keeping.

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Theresa’s book, Fruit on the Table is a top 10 best-selling cookbook in Ireland , has won a Gourmond award there and has been selected to compete for an International Gourmond award. In her book, Theresa follows the seasons and tells you how best to keep fruit on your table all year round. It is an absolute treasure trove, filled not only with her family recipes for jams, jellies and chutneys but it also runs the full gambit of meals, including recipes for cocktails, snacks , mains and going all the way through to desserts. And it doesn’t stop with the mouthwateringly delicious recipes, Fruit on the Table also gives you the low down on growing your own fruit, the ins and outs of preserving, tips on foraging as well as drying fruit. I’m proud to be sharing these recipes from her book this year and I shared quite a few last year as well, but I’m telling you, they’re only the tip of the iceberg. You’ve just gotta get ahold of this essential cookbook. And if you find yourself in Limerick, you simply must stop by the Limerick Milk Market and pay the Green Apron shop a visit!

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I’m sure you must now be inspired to make both these tender fluffy scones as well as the divine strawberry jam with which they are topped. Your first step will be making the scrumptious Strawberry Jam. You will end up with a bit more jam than you require to slather over these scones, but it is great to have on hand. It is very versatile and you can use it many other recipes…hint, hint – it might make an appearance again later this week. Strawberry Jam is my favorite and this jam, free of pectin, is just bursting with strawberry goodness.

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And scones…Well, I just love them. With the first bite of these little gems you will understand why they are prize-winning.

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And topped with strawberry jam and clotted cream…I am absolutely over the moon! The Husband loves scones with jam and clotted cream as well. In fact, his first experience with this delicacy was in Dublin, shortly after we were married. As he gobbled down every morsel, I just might have heard him murmur “Where have you been all of my life?!!” And I’m fairly certain he was referring to the scones rather than me.

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As it turns out it recently came to my attention that there is an etiquette to topping your scone. My friend Keela informed me that spreading your scone with the clotted cream first and then dolloping your jam on top is the Devon way, whereas jam first and cream second is the Cornish way. I checked for the Irish method with my friend Theresa and she said butter goes on the scone first the jam and then cream. No one she is aware of puts the cream on first. Hmmm….the good news here is that Scones with Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream are pretty heavenly no matter which way the toppings go on. Make up a batch and see for yourself!

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Theresa's Prize-Winning Scones with Strawberry Jam & Clotted Cream

  • Servings: 18 dainty scones
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen by Theresa Storey

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) milk
  • 450 grams (1 lb.) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 110 grams (4 oz.) unsalted butter
  • strawberry jam (recipe to follow) and clotted cream for topping

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).

Beat the eggs in a measuring jug with enough milk to make 300 ml (1/2 pint) of liquid. You will have a little milk left over.

Put the dry ingredients in a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add three-quarters of the liquid and mix well. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit more liquid or, if wet, add a bit more flour. You should have a soft dough that you can stick your finger through. (Don’t over-handle the dough or the scones will be tough.)

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick and cut into the desired shape. I use a 5 – cm (2 inch) round cutter usually, but sometimes I cut the dough into squares or diamonds.

Place the scones on a lightly floured baking tray and then brush the top with the remaining egg and milk mixture. This gives them a nice shine and color when they are cooked.

Bake for 10 -15 minutes or until they are golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Spread with strawberry jam and clotted cream. You can even go crazy and slather the scone with a little butter first before adding the other goodness. The sky is the limit!

Variations:

Add the zest of one lemon to the dry ingredients; or 2 tablespoons of raisins or sultanas; or ground cinnamon and the juice and zest of one orange. For savory scones, leave out the sugar and add herbs or grated cheese.

Strawberry Jam

Ingredients: 

  • 2 kg (4 1/2 lb) Strawberries (hulled and halved if big)
  • Juice of 3 large lemons
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) water
  • 2 kg (4 1/2 lb) sugar

Directions:

Place a saucer into the refrigerator to chill. You will use it to test the setting point later.

Put the strawberries, lemon juice and the water into a preserving pot and cook over low heat until the juice starts to run from the berries and they begin to soften. Remove the pot from the heat and put it onto a sturdy work surface.

Take a potato masher and squash the strawberries in the pot. You don’t want them completely puréed but you do want them broken up. Give it about six mashes.

Put the pot back onto the stove and continue to cook the fruit over a low heat until the strawberries are completely soft and the juice starts to darken in color.

Add the sugar, stir in well, and cook on a high heat, stirring occasionally, until the jam reaches settings point. Spoon a little of the boiling preserve onto the cold saucer. Let it cool and then push it with your finger. If it has reached setting point, the top of the blob of jam will wrinkle. You want strawberry jam to be barely set, because if you cook it for too long some of the flavor will be lost.

Pour into warm sterilized jars to within 6 mm (1/4 inch) of the top. Wipe any drips off the rims of the jars to make sure there is a good seal between the jar and lid. A dampened paper towel works well for this. Place lids on and seal.

Enjoy!

Theresa’s Prize-Winning Scones with Strawberry Jam & Clotted Cream brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links for helpful kitchen tools & ingredients for Theresa’s Prize-Winning Scones with Strawberry Jam & Clotted Cream:

Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor

Kilner Stainless Steel Jam Pan

Ball Mason 4 oz quilted jelly jars

Canning Magnetic Lid Wand

Norpro 600 Jar Lifter

Ball Canning Funnel

 

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Balsamic Strawberry Galette & the best flaky pie crust ever!

July 3, 2013

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OMG! I think I may have just made the perfect pie crust! I am totally serious. I have been making pie crusts for a while now, and it wasn’t like they were bad. They were just somewhat unremarkable. If quizzed about them I probably would have said that I wished they were a bit more flaky, but hey…I am making them from scratch, so I should get extra points for that right? I had read that adding a bit of shortening along with the butter would possibly correct the situation, but that is where I got a bit weird. I didn’t want to add something like Crisco to my pie crust. I was all about the butter and would often replace shortening with butter in various pie crust recipes. Quite a quandary huh? So I’m happy to report, joy oh joy, I have found an all-butter pie crust recipe which also includes vodka in the list of ingredients. Now I must say I like vodka nearly as much as I like butter. And this crust…well to start off with it rolls out like a dream and bakes up to a tasty, flaky, buttery perfection. I will never stray from this recipe again!

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But let me start from the beginning. This great discovery came about when I read the Inspired Taste blog which talked about their favourite flaky pie crust recipe. You should really take a peek at this blog because it is so interesting. Apparently they had also been making their pie crusts the old-fashioned way. You know, cut the butter into the flour until you get little pea-shaped butter/flour pebbles and then add just enough water to make a dough, keeping in mind,  not to handle that dough very much once the water was added. Why? Well because the water combining with flour caused the formation of evil glutens and the more that dough was worked, the more those glutens multiplied, which would result in you baking up a tough old chewy pie crust. Just as an aside, I never heard of a gluten until a couple of years ago. Apparently those sneaky little varmints have been around all this time, hiding in plain sight. I swear I never heard of a “gluten allergy” when I was a kid, or a peanut allergy for that matter, but there are plenty of folks out there now that have figured out just how much havoc those little devils can reek. But back to the pie crust. Gluten is the enemy of tender, flaky pie crusts. So you don’t want a lot of gluten to form. Apparently several years ago Cooks Illustrated came up with the idea of replacing the ice water you would traditionally have added to your butter/flour mix with vodka. As it turns out, vodka does not encourage gluten formation. Yay Vodka! Now Inspired Taste wasn’t as thrilled with the vodka notion as I was. They agreed there was less gluten formation, but they were concerned with the cost of vodka and that they didn’t really keep it in their house routinely. No such problems around here! I always have a stash of vodka at hand, and resolved right then and there that I would be putting it to good use in my pie crusts!

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But that wasn’t the only great tip Inspired Taste was able to impart to me. They went on to say that they had decided that the old cutting-the-butter-into-the-flour method could stand a bit of improvement. They recommended taking half of the flour mixture and whizzing it up with the butter in a food processor to make a butter/flour paste. By doing so, all of that flour would be coated with the butter which would keep moisture out and thus result in less gluten formation. Once this paste was complete you could add the rest of the flour and the liquid. Some glutens would thus be able to form, but just enough, not so little that your crust fell to bits, but not so many that your crust would be tough. So there you have it. A new method for making the perfect pie crust every time! I decided to use a hybrid of Cooks Illustrated and Inspired Taste for my crusts. I used the vodka/water liquid and I also used the improved Inspired taste method and came up with the best pie crust I have ever made.

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Now this recipe makes enough for two crusts, and I’m only revealing what I did with one of them in this post. You’ll have to check back in to hear about flaky pie crust number two. But anyway, on the first day I made this Balsamic Strawberry Galette. I love galettes. They are so rustic and easy! Strawberries are one of my favourite fruits, taking a backseat only to apples. But unlike apples, strawberries are in season now and I just couldn’t resist them when I went to the market.

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This galette recipe really lets the fresh strawberry flavour shine. You just add a bit of honey and a little balsamic vinegar to those juicy sweet fresh berries. Once that amazing pie crust is ready to go you just roll it out, which it does like a breeze. Drain those macerated strawberries, reserving the liquid for later drizzling, mound them in the center of the dough and then fold those edges over. Don’t forget to sprinkle the crust with Demerara sugar which will give it a lovely sweet crunch. I served this Strawberry Galette drizzled with strawberry juice and topped with vanilla ice cream. It was just the perfect summer dessert! If you add in a fresh blueberry or two you would have the oh so patriotic red, white a blue colour scheme for your 4th of July celebrations, which would be the perfect time to show off your newly acquired mad pie making skills!

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Balsamic Strawberry Galette

recipe adapted from: the busty baker (strawberry filling) and inspired taste (flaky pie crust)

Ingredients:

For the flaky pie crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 tablespoons vodka (chilled)
  • 2 Tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 16 ounces fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Demerara sugar for sprinkling over pie crust

Directions:

For the flaky pie crust:

Mix 6 tablespoons of vodka and 2 tablespoons of water. Put in fridge or freezer (don’t forget it) to chill.

Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water/vodka over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water/vodka and continue to press until dough comes together.

Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).

For the filling:

In a medium bowl, toss sliced strawberries with honey and balsamic vinegar to coat. Let stand for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Right before assembling the galette, drain the liquid from the strawberries and reserve.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove one disc of dough from refrigerator. Roll out dough to 1/8-inches thick, about 14 inches around. Gently transfer crust to the center of the prepared baking sheet. Mound strawberries in the center of the dough, spreading about 2 inches from the edge. Fold edges of dough over strawberries, overlapping where necessary. Brush the top of the dough with egg and sprinkle with Demerara sugar.

Bake until dough is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving. Top each slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with reserved strawberry liquid.

Enjoy!


Lemony Cornmeal Strawberry Shortcakes

September 14, 2012

I bet ya’ll knew I couldn’t stay away from that cornmeal for long huh? This time I made good old Strawberry Shortcakes, that perfect summer time dessert (actually the weather around here has been surprisingly pleasant, with very little humidity. However, I fear Virginia summers are not done with us yet and after lulling us into a false sense of security, may return for an encore performance ). Since cornmeal seemed to work very well in so many of my other culinary creations, (Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies, Blueberry Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes…) I thought adding a little cornmeal to the biscuit part of the Strawberry Shortcake would be delicious. And I wasn’t wrong. These biscuits were really tasty and had a distinct down-home style to them! Flaky and buttery, just like the traditional shortbread biscuit but with a bit of crunch and texture thanks to the cornmeal. The addition of the lemon zest gives it a wonderfully fresh zing as well. Layer on some fresh strawberries and top with whipped cream and you just can’t go wrong! Make some of these up for Summer’s last hurrah… you know those sneaky oppressive temps are lurking just around the corner, waiting to pounce!  (I’m such a pessimist 🙂 )

Lemony Cornmeal Strawberry Shortcakes

recipe from: Baked Bree

yield: 10 -12 shortcakes (depending on what size you cut your biscuits to)

Ingredients:

For the strawberries:

  • 16 ounces fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • juice from a half of a lemon

For the lemon cornmeal biscuits:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 6 Tablespoons cold butter cubed
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream (to brush on top)
  • Demerara sugar

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

Put the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, baking powder and lemon zest in the food processor. Pulse a couple of times to combine. Add the butter. Process until the mixture looks like coarse sand.

Whisk together the eggs and cream.

Pour the mixture into the top of the food processor and process until the dough just starts to come together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Handle dough as little as possible at this point. Roll out dough to 1/2″ – 3/4″ thickness.

Using a sharp 1 1/2″ – 2″ biscuit cutter, cut out as many biscuits as you can, taking care to push the cutter straight down to cut. Do not twist cutter or biscuits will not rise as well. Brush with a little cream.

Sprinkle with Demerara sugar.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 10-13 minutes or until the tops are just golden brown.

Meanwhile, toss the strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice. Let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes or until you are ready to serve.

Whip the cream and sugar until soft peaks form.

To assemble, cut the biscuit in half and layer with strawberries and whipped cream.

Enjoy!


I scream, you scream…Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

August 15, 2011

Yummy! Home-made Ice Cream is a wonderfully nostalgic summer indulgence for many folks. As a kid I can remember our neighbor had an old ice cream maker complete with a hand crank and all that rock salt, that he would roll out during the summer months. I don’t know if the ice cream that came from that contraption was really that much better, or it was the whole seemingly magical experience that made it seem so. Flash forward to present day and you will find that Jay and I have invested in a modern, Cuisinart Ice Cream maker and I can definitely say it produces some fantastic ice cream and there is no hand crank with which to toil away. 🙂 We recently took advantage of the outstanding strawberries found in abundance this summer and made some Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream. It was so creamy and delicious, it would truly give Ben & Jerry a run for their money if I do say so myself.

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Yield: Makes ten 1/2 Cup servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Cup sugar, divided
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in the juices for 2 hours. Strain the berries, reserving juices. Mash or puree half the berries.

In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low-speed to combine the milk and remaining granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 -2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, reserved strawberry juice, mashed strawberries and vanilla.

Turn your Ice Cream maker on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20-25 minutes. Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the reserved sliced strawberries and let mix in completely. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe from The Cuisinart Classic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker Recipe Booklet.


Purple Haze All in My Brain! – Purple Haze Stuffed Strawberries

June 24, 2011

A few weeks ago, Jay, John and I headed out to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia to see the live version of the radio show A Prairie Home Companion. We’ve been making this pilgrimage to hear Garrison Keillor’s words of wisdom and reports from his home town, Lake Wobegon for many years now. Wolf Trap is a fabulous indoor/outdoor amphitheatre which seats approximately 4,000 people under cover and another 3,000 folks on picnic blankets on their sloping lawn out under the hopefully starry skies.

We always opt for the uncovered lawn seats, willing to take our chances with good old Mother Nature in exchange for the ability to feast on a fabulous picnic meal and enjoy whatever refreshing beverages (and you are definitely right – these are usually adult type beverages) we choose to bring along. Drinking…in a National Park?!  Unheard of, I assure you! But it happens at Wolf Trap. We always have a great time.

Lea & Jay - Eating yummy snacks

John chillin out

Garrison Keillor has recently announced his retirement which will be taking place tentatively in the Spring of 2013. Oh no! Only one more Prairie Home Companion show after this! At least with our beloved Garrison. He is looking for his replacement now. We are happy for him but very saddened to think our annual ritual will be forever altered. I wanted to make some awesome goodies for this year’s Companion. As I’ve mentioned, Jay loves goat cheese and John shares this sentiment. Since the strawberries have been quite tasty this year, I decided to do fresh strawberries, stuffed with Goat Cheese and drizzled with a Balsamic Vinegar Glaze. And not just any goat cheese, but a favourite of ours, Purple Haze goat cheese from the folks at Cypress Grove Chevre.

This particular goat cheese has lavender and fennel pollen mixed in. It has a wonderful fresh taste, a little sweetness from the lavender and fennel followed with the natural tang of goat cheese. The Balsamic Glaze gives it a wonderful savory, sweet finish. They were just perfect for a summer picnic, but would look appropriately fancy at your next dinner soiree. After just one berry you might find yourself haunted by the following words:

Purple Haze, All in my brain,

Lately things just don’t seem the same..

Purple Haze Stuffed Strawberries

Ingredients:

1 pint fresh Strawberries, washed and hulled

4 oz. Purple Haze Goat Cheese

2 Tablespoons Cream, or milk if you prefer

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic Vinegar glaze *

Directions:

Wash and hull strawberries.

In a small bowl, combine Purple Haze goat cheese, lemon zest and enough cream to make the mixture piping consistency.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place goat cheese mixture in piping bag and fill hollowed out portion of each strawberry. If you don’t have a piping bag, I’m sure you could fill the berries with a spoon.

Drizzle balsamic vinegar glaze over the stuffed strawberries and serve.

Bon Appetite!

*I used a store-bought Balsamic Glaze for these strawberries and waited to drizzle it over them right before they were served. If you don’t have a pre-made Glaze, just take about 1/2 Cup of balsamic vinegar and boil it down until it reduces to a glaze consistency.


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