Strawberries are in such high demand that they’re on supermarket shelves year-round, but the best time to enjoy them is actually during spring and summer: from April until August, they’re at their sweetest and most fragrant. At the supermarket, look for baskets of locally-grown berries; otherwise, head to the farmer’s market and seek out firm, shiny, dark red strawberries that are free of mold and still have perky stems attached. Avoid any with a trace of mold; they’ll last for a few days, but to help prolong their shelf life, you can also give them a bath in hot (125°F) water.
The sweet and floral strawberry arguably tastes best when eaten straight out of one’s hand. But if you’re lucky enough to have a glut of them, here are a few of our favorite recipes that include strawberries.
1. Fruity Smoothie
Don’t be turned off by the tofu in this smoothie. It’s of the silken variety, and adds a custardy texture without any off-flavor. Other elements, like banana, vanilla, honey, and apple juice add a pleasant sweetness. Get our Fruity Smoothie recipe.
2. Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie With Sour Cream Crust
The addition of rhubarb stalks adds a sweet-tart quality to this pie’s filling. It’s the perfect foil to a rich sour cream crust. Get our Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie With Sour Cream Crust recipe.
3. Strawberry Margarita
If the only strawberry margaritas you’ve ever tasted came out of a slushie machine, then get ready for this recipe to turn every notion you have of the fruity cocktail on its head. Get our Strawberry Margarita recipe.
4. Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake
Light, airy, and delicate, our strawberry shortcake boasts all the desirable traits of a cheery spring dessert. Get our Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake recipe.
5. Strawberry Syrup
Cook strawberries in sugar water to make your own syrup, which can then be used to flavor cocktails, desserts, or sodas. Get our Strawberry Syrup recipe.
6. Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake
Halved strawberries and creamy mascarpone make up the surprise filling in this whipped cream cake. Get our Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake recipe.
7. Strawberry S’mores Sundaes
Fresh strawberries (and strawberry ice cream) add brightness, a floral flavor, and a pop of color to basic s’mores. Get our Strawberry S’mores Sundaes recipe.
8. Strawberry-Filled Cardamom Cupcakes
Our strawberry cupcakes are laced with the exotic, citrusy scent of cardamom for an extra layer of complexity. Get our Strawberry-Filled Cardamom Cupcakes recipe.
9. Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Even better than strawberry cheesecake: homemade strawberry cheesecake ice cream. Get our Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream recipe.