I must say that there are some things I can eat until I cannot move. This is one of them. Sweet, tart Hood Strawberries, filled with a Greek Yogurt Cheese & Strawberry Jam. Three ingredients and a little piece of heaven. How about we make some?
We begin with Strawberries. Hoods if you can get them but not essential. Many of us in Oregon are kind of Hood snobs, and feel that no other Strawberry can touch them. Kinda true .Wash em up good – no grit in these little gems please. If they’re a little muddy, you might need to change the water 2 or 3 times. Better safer than sorry I sometimes say. Then we get down to business and work on the filling. We’ll need some good Greek Yogurt. I use Fage. Into a fine mesh strainer it goes overnight. I know, I know…Greek Yogurt is very thick, but you will be amazed how much whey drains out overnight. A 16 ounce container of Greek Yogurt will drain off about 1/3 cup of whey. This is a good outcome because you do not want a soggy filling. After your yogurt has drained, stir in some Strawberry Jam. (this just happens to be the link to my own favorite recipe) This is the part of the recipe where you decide for yourself how much jam you want to use. I started with about 1/3 of a cup. Stir it up and give it a taste. Just right? You are good to go. Not enough? Add some more.
Chill your concoction in the refrigerator while you get the berries ready. We want this to be nice and cold. And now, back to our berries.. Pick nice big ones, and then cut their rumps (stem ends) off. They need to be able to sit up all by themselves. Then, make an X on the top of each berry, cutting down about 2/3 of the way to the base (rump). Once you do that, you will need to kind of pry them open. I’ve used a chopstick, but have also just pried them open with my fingers which seemed to work just fine. Your call. I need to tell you in advance: Do not panic at this next part! But it is time to get your piping bag out. Don’t have one? Two options: 1). You can get one at any cooking store and often at your favorite variety store. 2). Don’t want one? You can put your filling into a zip lock bag, cut a TINY piece off of the end, lock it up, and give it a try. It will not be as pretty, but it will work. All that being said, they are fairly inexpensive and come in handy once in awhile. No pressure though. One by one, just fill them up until you get to the top. I used a ‘start tip’ with my piping bag, which gave it a little swirl at the end.
Arrange them on a platter with strawberry leaves or rose petals (non-sprayed) and impress your guests. Be sure to leave many in the refrigerator for grabbing and shoving into your mouth each time you pass by – that is my favorite. And aren’t you the smarty pants? Look what you just accomplished!! Be sure to keep them well chilled before serving. You can feel good about putting these together a good hour or more before serving time. They will behave themselves. Hope you like them!!
- 2 pints of nice, big strawberries, washed
- 1 16-ounce container of best quality Greek yogurt (I use Fage)
- About ⅓ - ½ cup Strawberry jam
- Empty the yogurt into a fine mesh strainer over a medium sized bowl. Place in refrigerator and allow yogurt to drain overnight. The resulting concoction will be a yogurt ‘cheese’ that is quite thick.
- Place the yogurt cheese in a medium bowl. Stir in enough strawberry jam to sweeten to your taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Using a sharp knife, slice off the top of the strawberry, removing the stem. Slice off enough so the berry can ‘sit’ on its head without tipping over. Again using a sharp knife, make a crosswise cut in the tip end of the strawberry, about half way down the length of the berry. Set aside.
- Spoon the yogurt mixture into a pastry bag, or a large zip lock bag. If using a zip lock bag, snip off the end – start small! You can always make it larger. If using a pastry bag, use a tip that will allow you enough room to fill the berries.
- Pipe yogurt filling into the center of each berry, making sure you reach to top of the berry.
- Chill until ready to serve. Note: These are best filled right before serving but are well behaved if they have to rest in the refrigerator for an hour or two. I have even been known to keep them for 3-4 days and they still look great.