10 Things To Whip Up With Strawberries This Summer

Fresh strawberries are finally all over the famers’ markets — and we couldn't be more excited — but after snacking on a few, it’s easy to blank on how to use the rest of ‘em. That’s why this year we have a strategy: We here at Refinery29 have mapped out how to make the most of your strawberry stash all summer long. Try one (or all) of our 10 best strawberry recipes, like DIY strawberry-flavored booze, ultra-chic desserts, and easy homemade condiments. No matter where you buy them, these berries are too good to waste!
1. Homemade Strawberry Vodka
Keep a container of this DIY strawberry-flavored vodka in the fridge. It’ll add a subtle strawberry flavor and rosy hue to summer cocktails (use it 1-to-1 in place of regular vodka). To turn it into a hostess gift, just pour into a mason jar or swing-top bottle and label as desired.
Makes: 4 cups
1 pound strawberries, sliced
4 cups vodka
1. Put the strawberries and vodka in an airtight container.
2. Refrigerate for one week, shaking once a day; strain into a clean airtight container.
3. Store in the refrigerator up to two months.
2. Almost-Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
Fake your own “homemade” strawberry ice cream by folding macerated (a.k.a. sugar-soaked) strawberries into plain vanilla ice cream. You’ll end up with a chunky strawberries-and-cream flavored treat, which you can serve plain or turn into a quick ice cream cake by layering with pound cake slices in a loaf pan.
Makes: about 4 cups
1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
1. Toss the strawberries and sugar in a bowl and set aside until syrupy, about 15 minutes.
2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; reserve the syrup and berries separately (you can drizzle the syrup over the ice cream instead of hot fudge)!
3. Fold the berries into the softened ice cream.
4. Transfer to a bowl or other container, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
3. Spicy Strawberry Barbecue Sauce
Strawberries add a hint of sweetness to this spicy homemade barbecue sauce. Serve it on burgers or slather it on pork tenderloin, ribs and/or chicken breasts before grilling. Bonus: You can pack it up as a homemade Father’s Day gift.
Makes: about 11/2 cups
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/3 ketchup
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped chipotles in adobo
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Put the strawberries, ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, chipotles, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
2. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Photographed by Erin Phraner
4. Strawberry-Vanilla Bean Quick Skillet Jam
Unlike a traditional jam, this quick strawberry-vanilla “skillet jam” doesn’t require any fancy canning equipment or sterilizing. Strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla bean seeds are simmered on the stovetop until thick, then stored in a container in the fridge for up to one week. Spread it on toast or use to fill plain vanilla cupcakes for a summery treat!
Makes: about 1 cup
1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 vanilla bean
1. Put the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium skillet.
2. Split the vanilla bean in half, lengthwise, using a small knife. Scrape out the seeds using the tip of the knife and add to the skillet.
3. Bring the strawberry mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until thick and combined, breaking up the berries with the back of a spoon, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a jar or other airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
5. Strawberry-Rosemary Vinaigrette
We used strawberries and fresh rosemary to make a sweet-and-savory vinaigrette, which is perfect for drizzling over salads or grilled chicken — it’s far tastier than the syrupy-sweet dressing you’ll find bottled at the grocery store.
Makes: about 2 cups
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 to 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Toss the strawberries and sugar in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Transfer to a blender, add the red wine vinegar and rosemary, and puree until smooth.
3. With the motor running, slowly blend in the olive oil until combined. Stir in the salt (add more if needed).
Photographed by Erin Phraner
6. Strawberry Goat Cheese Tart With Pistachio
Serves: 8 to 10
For the crust
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup finely ground pistachios
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold heavy cream
For the filling
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup soft goat cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
1 pound strawberries, trimmed and halved
1/4 cup pistachios
1. Make the crust: Pulse the flour, ground pistachios, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Add the egg yolk and cream and pulse until combined. The dough should hold together when pinched between your fingers. (If not, pulse in another one tablespoon cream.) Shape the dough into a disk; wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using.
2. Press the chilled dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a nine-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom, using floured-dusted fingers. Refrigerate 30 more minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 375˚. Remove the tart shell from the refrigerator; put on a baking sheet. Pierce all over with a fork, then line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and continue to bake until the whole crust is golden, about 15 more minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.
4. Make the filling: Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or by hand), beat the heavy cream and one tablespoon sugar until stiff-peaks form, one to two minutes. Mix the goat cheese and remaining three tablespoons sugar together in a large bowl. Add one-third of the whipped cream and stir together to lighten the goat cheese. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold into the goat cheese mixture until combined. Spread the filling into the cooled tart shell.
5. Stir a splash of water into the strawberry jam to thin it out. Arrange the strawberries on top of the tart. Brush with the jam mixture. Sprinkle with pistachios.
Photographed by Erin Phraner
7. Strawberry Icebox Pie
Icebox pies are perfect for summer entertaining. They require minimal baking and set up in the fridge, meaning they’re the ideal make-ahead treat. Add the whipped cream right before serving so it doesn’t wilt into the filling. Top with shaved chocolate, if desired.
Serves: 8 to 10
For the curst
1 1/2 sleeves graham crackers
6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the filling
1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup strawberry jam
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
For the topping
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1. Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350˚. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add the melted butter, sugar, and salt and pulse until combined and the mixture resembles wet sand. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a nine-inch pie plate. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, make the filling: Bring the strawberries, jam, sugar, and salt to a simmer in a skillet over medium heat. Simmer 10 minutes or until syrupy and slightly thickened. Spread into the prepared crust and refrigerate until cool, at least one hour.
3. Make the topping: Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in the sour cream. Spread on top of the pie using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to one hour.
Photographed by Erin Phraner
8. Perfect Strawberry Milkshake
There’s something super fun and girly about strawberry milk shakes. Blend ‘em up at home and serve them in tall glasses with colorful paper straws. The secret ingredient: evaporated milk. It adds a little extra richness to the frozen treat, plus it’s available full-fat, low-fat, or fat-free. Swap in vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Makes: 1 drink
1 1/2 cups strawberry ice cream (about 1/2 pint)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chopped strawberries
Put the ice cream, evaporated milk, and strawberries in a blender; puree until smooth. Pour into a tall chilled glass.
9. Strawberry-Stuffed Croissant French Toast
Skip the long (sweaty) brunch lines this summer and make a cafe-quality breakfast at home, instead. We stuffed croissants with homemade strawberry filling, then soaked them in an egg-y batter to make this baked French toast. Feel free to swap in grated orange zest for the cinnamon in step two.
Serves: 4
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 to 5 day-old croissants, split
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚. Spray an eight-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Toss the strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Fill the croissants with the cream cheese and strawberries; arrange in the baking dish.
2. Whisk the milk, egg, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in bowl. Pour the custard over the croissants and let soak in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
3. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the custard sets and the croissants are golden brown, 10 to 15 more minutes.
10. Sparkly Strawberry Corn Muffins
Corn muffins can go sweet or savory, so load them up with fresh strawberries for a summery twist. A sprinkling of sanding sugar gives them a little sparkle and a nice crunchy crust. Serve these for breakfast or as a snack — they’re great for packing and eating outdoors (maybe with some of the awesome aforementioned strawberry-vanilla jam you made?).
Makes: 12 muffins
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup chopped strawberries
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.
2. Whisk the cornmeal, flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter, egg, and milk, and whisk until combined. Toss the strawberries and remaining one tablespoon granulated sugar in a small bowl, then fold into the batter.
3. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar and bake until the muffins spring back when touched, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan.
Photographed by Erin Phraner

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