Summertime recipe takes advantage of the season’s strawberry crop

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

With summer in the air, I’m yearning for strawberries hand-picked from a local farm or fresh from the farmers market. These luscious strawberries taste even sweeter when roasted with balsamic vinegar and paired with a creamy mascarpone filling.

Thinking about strawberries always makes me think about warm biscuits, the kind that lures my family into the kitchen on Sunday mornings. Even if you’ve never made a homemade biscuit in your life, I urge you to give my recipe a try.

I’ve added fresh chopped rosemary and orange zest to these biscuits, but in the past I’ve added anything from chocolate chips and walnuts to crumbly pieces of bacon and cheddar cheese. Be adventurous, and don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite ingredients.

Rosemary Biscuits with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries and Mascarpone

Makes 10 to 12 servings

8 ounces mascarpone cheese

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 stick (½ cup) plus 4 tablespoons softened, unsalted butter, divided use

2 pounds fresh strawberries

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

Zest of 1 large orange

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, cut into tiny pieces

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Add Mascarpone, whipping cream, vanilla and powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Add 4 tablespoons butter to a glass baking dish. Heat in oven until butter is melted, then remove dish from oven.

Rinse strawberries and remove stems. Cut strawberries in half and place in a large bowl. Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Toss gently. Add strawberries to the baking dish with butter. Gently coat strawberries with the butter mixture. Place dish back into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove strawberries from oven and let cool.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut 1 stick of butter into slices and add to the dry mixture, continuously breaking up the butter with a fork or hard spatula until the flour is crumbly. Slowly add milk while stirring with a fork until the mix forms soft dough. Add orange zest and rosemary, and gently knead into dough with your fingers (don’t over-knead the dough).

Take the ball of dough out of the bowl and, with your hands, flatten into a 1-inch-thick loaf on a cutting board. Slice the loaf into 10 to 12 square biscuits and arrange on a nonstick cooking sheet. Place into a 450-degree oven and bake for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until the biscuits turn slightly brown on the top. Remove from oven.

Slice biscuits in half and fill with mascarpone cream mixture. Spoon strawberry filling on top of mascarpone mixture. Top with the remaining biscuit halves.

*Recipe and photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

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