Friday, June 3, 2011
Strawberries and Honey
Was yesterday the most beautiful day of the year so far? Ask me tonight, since today is shaping up as its only serious competition. I spent the morning happily roaming around, taking pleasure in the breeze and joyfully shopping. I was only briefly disappointed that there were no strawberries at Falkowski's on Scuttlehole Road, since I so enjoyed the drive to Zaluski's in Southampton. With two quarts of exquisite berries sitting beside me in the front seat, I headed back to town but decided on an impulse to take a detour to Marder's to check out their new Honeybee Cafe. In addition to excellent espresso, they are offering all kinds of local, artisanal, organic (yes, all three!) honey products. I learned from the knowledgeable and friendly cafe manager that Sag Harbor Bee Keeper Mary Woltz's Bees Needs honey is made by Italian honey bees, unparallelled comb builders with only a moderate tendency to swarm. That was good news, since Woltz keeps bees right at Marder's, as well as at Quail Hill Community Farm, where I go twice a week to pick my vegetables. Once home, I thought about making strawberry and honey ice cream, before I remembered that my ice cream machine had some kind of freon breakdown last year and is no longer working. So I took a cue from the Circus Man sign outside the Variety Store and made some frozen strawberry-honey-yogurt pops, no ice cream machine required. Here is the recipe:
Strawberry Honey Yogurt Pops
Makes 4 pops
One pint basket local strawberries, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor and then press through a fine strainer and into a bowl, discarding seeds. Sprinkle the gelatin over berry puree and let stand to soften, about 5 minutes. Place the bowl over a small pot of barely simmering water and heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Do not overheat!
2. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the honey, yogurt, and vanilla until smooth. Pour into four 1/2-cup popsicle molds and freeze until firm, overnight and up to 1 week. Run the mold under hot water for 30 seconds before unmolding.