Born to a strawberry connoisseur.
My dad loves strawberries. I mean LOVES. He eats them everyday, several times a day, during the season. And then he doesn't touch another berry until the following May. (Because "California berries are no good.")
We grew up just down the road from an orchard so we had fresh berries every couple of days. Then we moved several miles away, but we still managed to get to the orchard at least once a week. Now my cousin works there so my dad has the inside track. She sets berries aside for him and he picks them up when he can.
My mom recently had surgery so I went down to help out for a couple of days. I washed dishes and did laundry and cooked lunch, but the first thing my dad said when he came in the house was, "Did you fix those strawberries?" (Of course, being a good daughter, I had hulled, quartered and lightly sugared the berries immediately upon my arrival.)
I say all of that to say this.....We grow strawberries. We have a nice little patch that produces nice little berries, BUT they just don't compare to those fresh orchard berries. They just aren't quite as big or red or sweet as the berries I grew up on. Now, in their defense, we know nothing about growing strawberries, they are often picked by a 5 year old who is a little heavy handed, and they have all but drown from all of the rain this year. It isn't their fault...or my gardening husband's fault either.
I'm just a strawberry snob.
So I like to find other ways to use my berries. Ways that are still delicious but don't depend so much on eating the raw fresh berries, which I find slightly sub par. That led me to today's tasty recipe. I was cruising around on http://www.allrecipes.com/ and found a recipe for Strawberries and Cream Bread Pudding and I had to try it. You all know my love for traditional bread pudding and chocolate bread pudding. So here is another one (with my corrections and additions) to add to the list.
Strawberry Bread Pudding
one loaf of stale bread, torn into small pieces
2 cups chopped and mashed fresh strawberries
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups light cream
1/2 cup strawberry preserves
1 1/2 cups sugar, or to taste
1 t. vanilla extract
Pile bread into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Mix with mashed berries and let sit for 30 minutes or until flavors are well combined.
Beat eggs, milk and cream. Add preserves, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Pour over bread mixture and mix well. (I use my hands to thoroughly squish the liquids into each crumb of bread. There is nothing worse than a dry spot in the middle of a bread pudding.)
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until set. Serve warm straight from the oven or cold with fresh whipped cream.
I loved this bread pudding. It was super moist and strawberry flavored. Occasionally you bite into a nice chunk of berry too. This is definitely going to be an early summer staple at our house.
This post is linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and the In Season Recipe Swap.