June 14, 2010

Vanilla Scented Strawberry Brown Butter Bettys

Strawberries seem to be everywhere out here....with the farmers markets practically giving them away, it's not surprising that every week I find myself walking away with three or more pints of the oh-so-lush ruby fruit.  Then comes the thoughts of, "what other sweet treats can come of these beauties?"    
That's when I stumbled upon Deb's recipe at Smitten Kitchen of these little gems.  Of course they were a must try the instant that I saw them.  Even though they were perfect as is, I only slightly adapted them to suit my love of vanilla.  

Wine Pairing:  A superb pairing would be a Canadian Icewine.  YUM!  (look for a blog soon dedicated to this alluring sip) 

Vanilla Scented Strawberry Brown Butter Bettys
Adapted slightly from SmittenKitchen
Makes 6 Bettys

1 stick salted or unsalted butter
1 tsp granulated sugar
6 slices good quality white bread, crusts removed
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
1 tsp vanilla powder (can use 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/8 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced
vanilla ice cream or creme anglaise to serve

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in middle.

In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Once melted, reduce heat to medium-low.  The butter will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty.  Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do.  Don't take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is less than a minute.  Remove from heat. 

Lightly butter muffin cups with some of the brown butter, then sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Roll bread slices with a rolling pin to flatten.  Brush both sides with additional brown butter, then gently fit into muffin cups. 

Stir together brown sugar, zest, salt, vanilla powder and panko, then add strawberries and toss to coat.  Stir in remaining brown butter.  heap strawberry mixture into cups, pressing gently.

Cover pan with foil and bake 15 minutes.  Uncover and bake until strawberries are very tender, about 10 minutes more.  Let stand 5 minutes before removing from pan.  Serve warm or at room temp. 

I served with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream. 


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