You know it is summer when the farmer's markets are strawberries as far as the eye can see. That bright red and gorgeous smell of ripe, ready to eat strawberries is impossible to resist. When that time comes each year I reach for the same recipe discovered in a blog post in the summer of 2012 that caught my eye because of the description... a "mojito inspired" dessert with strawberries and rhubarb? Yes, please!
Most Saturday's my husband lets me sleep late. He and my son, Finn, head to the farmers market returning with a load of treasures that give me inspiration all week. This week they came home with that sly smile, "We got strawberries and rhubarb!". I always know that means that I will be making this dessert. Every once in a while I think of trying something different, but why mess with perfection?
When the strawberries are perfectly ripe and sweet, are balanced with the tart rhubarb, a little fresh mint straight from my garden, and buttermilk biscuits flecked with lime zest there is truly nothing better.
THAT is the taste of summer and if we are lucky, I will get to make it twice!
1½ pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered (about 5 cups)
1½ cups sugar
Zest and juice of 2 limes
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup fresh mint, thinly sliced
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lime
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350˚. Make the filling: In a large saucepan, combine the rhubarb with half of the strawberries, the sugar, lime zest and lime juice. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the rhubarb and strawberries begin juicing, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring, until the liquid comes to a boil, about 4 minutes. Add the flour and stir constantly until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the remaining strawberries and the mint. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch cake pan.
Make the biscuits: In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, salt and lime zest. Add the butter and blend it in by hand until the butter is roughly the size of peas. Using a spatula, add the buttermilk until the dough comes together.
Scoop evenly sized mounds of the dough over the filling, spacing them about ¼ inch apart. Sprinkle the top of the biscuits with turbinado sugar. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown on top and the fruit is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.