Surprising Strawberry Desserts
Strawberry season in the South is fleeting. We have only a few short weeks to enjoy the fresh, juicy gem that has been deemed the “fruit of love.” Strawberries appear suddenly at farmers’ markets and you-pick farms—and then the really good ones are gone. Be mindful of when they are peaking in your region, and don’t be fooled by the ones that are picked early and hit the market too soon. Unlike some fruits, strawberries don’t get any sweeter after they’ve been harvested. The berries at the grocery store may look plump and ripe with coloring that’s just a shade less than what it should be, but if they were picked too soon (green tips are a giveaway), you will be disappointed by their taste and texture.
Although they are delicious when devoured out of hand one by one, strawberries are downright heavenly when paired with other fruits. And while the tart and tangy rhubarb has been one of its longtime partners, strawberries can play well with others too. From apricots to nectarines, these surprising in-season combinations are all delightful.
Strawberries + Rhubarb
Recipe: Strawberry-Rhubarb Pretzel Pie
We turned the classic strawberry-pretzel salad into a rich and creamy pie. Rhubarb is a vegetable that needs sugar to temper its tangy flavor. Enter the strawberry for rounding out this sweet-and-salty dessert.
Strawberries + Lemons
Recipe: Strawberry-Lemon Crêpe Cake
If you’ve ever enjoyed a glass of strawberry lemonade, then you understand the power of a sweet-and-sour combination. This impressive crêpe cake is sure to wow with its delicate layers and bright lemon filling. Reserve the leftover liquid from the macerated strawberries for drizzling over each serving.
Strawberries + Apricots
Recipe: Strawberry-Apricot Hand Pies
These treats are a little jammy and a whole lot of flaky. Apricots allow the strawberries’ tart side to shine in the filling. Can’t find fresh apricots? Our Test Kitchen also used dried ones with the same great results.
Strawberries + Nectarines
Instead of cooking this compote on the stove-top, we roasted the nectarines and strawberries with the butter and sugar in the oven, which makes the fruits even juicier and sweeter.
Strawberries + Mangoes
Recipe: Strawberry-Mango Semifreddo
The tangy, golden mango sorbet is a delicious contrast to the rich, milky sweetness of the strawberry ice cream. Make the semifreddo up to five days ahead, and pile on the fresh fruit just before serving.
Strawberries + Bananas
The creamy, iconic Southern dessert gets a refreshing zip from the juicy, flavorful berries. We used graham crackers instead of the usual vanilla wafers so it would slice more neatly.
Strawberries + Blueberries
Recipe: Strawberry-Blueberry Cupcakes
Double the berry goodness. Blueberries can vary in size quite a bit, so we recommend mixing smaller ones in the batter because they will distribute more evenly. Choose the larger, plumper ones for garnishing the tops of the cupcakes.