Whenever I’m feeling homesick, homesick for my Mizzou friends and the streets of Columbia, or scared about post-grad life, or overwhelmed about anything at all, I want something warm and comforting, but not too heavy; something sweet and a little luscious without that intense need for a nap after consumption. The first time I turned to this recipe was in the spring when the first perfectly ripe strawberries were just hitting the grocery stores and my very last round of finals were looming around the corner. Although the circumstances and settings are different, there’s no doubt that something as simple as strawberries and cream can possess some magical feel-good power to turn that case of the mean reds into something lighter.

Strawberries & Dumplings

from smitten kitchen, serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart of strawberries, trimmed and thickly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup skim/2%/whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • heavy cream for serving

Directions:

  1. Stir together strawberries, sugar and lemon in a 4-quart heavy saucepan and let stand, stirring occasionally, until juicy, about 15 minutes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Heat the milk and butter together just until the butter melts. Stir this warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth. Gather a golf-ball-sized portion of the dumpling batter onto a small spoon, then push the dumpling onto the stew using a second spoon.  Cover the fruit with the dumplings, leaving about 1/4 inch between each.
  3. Tightly cover saucepan and reduce heat to low. Cook, undisturbed, until dumpling looks dry on top, 15 to 18 minutes; the dumplings will have doubled in size. Let stand off heat, uncovered, five minutes, then drizzle with heavy cream right before serving.
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