Strawberry season is slowly creeping up the lines of latitude, and although it hasn’t quite reached as far as New York state, it’s close. And that’s such good news. My kids have been aching for strawberries, and I just don’t know how much longer I can ignore their pleas in the grocery store when we walk by the big, hard, pink, pesticide-laden, gas-guzzling, globes labeled “strawberries.” “Soon,” I tell them, “soon we will eat strawberries …” And now soon is almost here.
We will eat them plain, we will eat them with yogurt, we will eat them with fresh local cream. And then we will eat more plain, and then some more. Eventually, I will start making jam. But before that, I will have to make crepes with ricotta cheese smothered in macerated strawberries. For those of you who have been blessed with strawberries already, let me share the recipe. For those of you as north or farther than me, save this recipe and remember, “soon …”
Macerate the Strawberries
There are any number of ways to macerate strawberries–many recipes call for liqueur or wine, some spice it up with black pepper. Since this recipe is intended to be kid-friendly, I have kept it on the tame side.
2 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and halved
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir, and refrigerate for 2two hours.
Make the Crepes
This recipe is for thin (and quite nutritious) pancakes that I use in place of a more traditional crepe.
1 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup Sucanat
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups organic buttermilk
1 large free-range egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoons melted butter
Oil or butter for the pan
1. Stir all dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add wet ingredients.
2. Lightly stir until just combined, leaving some lumps. Overbeating will result in tough pancakes.
3. Brush skillet with oil or butter over medium heat until a droplet of water sizzles. Pour batter into pan and cook until small bubbles form in pancake. Flip, cook and remove to a warm plate.
Compose the Crepes
Spoon ricotta cheese on a crepe, roll it up, and douse with macerated strawberries. You can also use cottage cheese–when I can’t find organic ricotta, I blend organic cottage cheese in the blender until smooth for a reasonable approximation of ricotta.