A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Strawberry Icebox Cake Grandma Clara’s Fresh Strawberry Pound Cake Strawberry Shortcake Strawberry-Clementine Pie Grandma’s Strawberry Bread Fresh Spinach Salad With Strawberries Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream Strawberry Pretzel Salad Frozen Margarita

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Strawberry Icebox Cake Grandma Clara’s Fresh Strawberry Pound Cake Strawberry Shortcake Strawberry-Clementine Pie Grandma’s Strawberry Bread Fresh Spinach Salad With Strawberries Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream Strawberry Pretzel Salad Frozen Margarita

9 Recipes for Your Strawberry Bounty

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Strawberry Icebox Cake

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 16 servings.

1 package moist white cake mix
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (3-ounce) package strawberry-flavored gelatin
4 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup whole milk
½ cup chopped strawberries

½ cup butter, softened
1 (1-pound) package powdered sugar
¾ cup chopped strawberries and their juice

Whipped Topping:
2 cups heavy cream, very cold
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup chopped strawberries

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, and gelatin. Add eggs one at a time, alternating with milk and beating well after each addition. Fold in chopped strawberries. Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and let cool in pan completely. Remove cake from pan. Using a serrated knife, slice cake in half horizontally.

For the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar; add strawberries and just enough juice to reach a spreadable consistency. If strawberries have not produced enough juice, water may be added.

For the whipped topping: Using an electric mixer, whip cold heavy cream for 1 to 2 minutes until it begins to thicken. Add powdered sugar and continue to mix on low speed to form stiff peaks.

To assemble: Place one cake layer on a serving tray or baking dish. Cover with half of the frosting, then spread half of the whipped topping over frosting. Place ½ cup chopped strawberries on top. Repeat process with the second cake layer. Sprinkle remaining chopped strawberries over top layer of whipped topping. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

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photograph by Chris Rogers

Grandma Clara’s Fresh Strawberry Pound Cake

Recipe courtesy of Tammy Kelly

For the glaze:
¼ stick melted margarine
¼ cup fresh strawberries, chopped
1½ cups powdered sugar

For the cake:
1 box Duncan Hines white cake mix
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry Jell-O, dry
¾ cup Wesson oil
4 eggs
½ cup water
¾ cup fresh strawberries, chopped

For the glaze: Combine ingredients.

For the cake: Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly oil and flour a Bundt pan. Mix ingredients in a blender for 3 minutes until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 65 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 12 to 13 minutes. Turn out of pan and cool for another 10 minutes before glazing cake while warm.

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photograph by Matt Hulsman

Strawberry Shortcake

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 12 servings.

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup whole milk, very cold

Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
6 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
4 tablespoons sugar
Fresh mint (optional)

For the biscuits: For best results, place butter pieces in freezer for at least 1 hour before making recipe. Preheat oven to 425°.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in chilled butter until the flour resembles peas. Slowly add cold milk and incorporate with pastry cutter or hands. Do not overmix. Dough will be wet.

Pour dough onto a clean, heavily floured countertop. Shape dough into a ball and roll out to ½-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut biscuits and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.

For the strawberries: Sprinkle sugar over strawberries and toss. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

For the whipped cream: Chill the mixing bowl and beaters prior to making whipped cream. Pour whipping cream into the bowl of a stand mixer (or hand mixer) and turn to medium speed. Slowly add sugar and continue whipping until cream begins to thicken. Increase speed to medium high and whip until cream is fluffy and forms a peak.

To assemble: Place biscuit on plate and split in half. Spoon strawberries on bottom half of biscuit and top with whipped cream. Place top of biscuit on whipped topping. Garnish with fresh mint (optional).

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photograph by Wendy Perry

Strawberry-Clementine Pie

Recipe by Wendy Perry

Yield: 6 servings.

1 9-inch prepared graham cracker crumb crust
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1½ tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup orange liqueur
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
2½ cups fresh Clementine or Mandarin sections
1 pint fresh North Carolina strawberries, halved or sliced

Blend softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Spread in bottom of graham cracker crust. Place in refrigerator to chill.

Mix cornstarch with remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and blend with orange juice and orange liqueur. Pour mixture into a saucepan.

Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in remaining vanilla. Cool to room temperature and then add corn syrup, mixing well. Arrange orange sections on top of cream cheese and top with strawberries.

Spoon orange glaze over fruit and chill for about 3 hours or until firm. 

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photograph by Matt Hulsman

Grandma’s Strawberry Bread

Recipe by Community Cookbook Series

1½ cups plain flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup oil
10 ounces strawberries, pureed

Preheat oven to 350˚. Mix flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add sugar and blend. Mix beaten eggs and oil together. Pour the egg mixture and strawberries into the flour mixture all at once and fold to mix well. Pour the mixture into a greased 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan. Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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spinach strawberry salad

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Fresh Spinach Salad With Strawberries

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 4-6 servings.

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons honey
8 ounces plain goat cheese, sliced or crumbled
8 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and spun dry
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
6 ounces slivered almonds, toasted
Vinaigrette (optional)

In a measuring cup, mix lime juice, black pepper, and honey. Pour over goat cheese and refrigerate.

Remove stems from spinach (optional). For individual salads, portion fresh spinach on salad plates, followed by strawberries, goat cheese, and toasted almonds. Serve with your favorite vinaigrette, or skip the dressing and enjoy the creaminess of the goat cheese.

For an extra-refreshing touch, place salad plates in refrigerator for 1 hour before plating.

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ice cream

photograph by Elena Brent Rosemond-Hoerr

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream

Recipe by Elena Brent Rosemond-Hoerr

Yield: 14 servings.

4 cups heavy cream
4 cups whole milk
2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 pints fresh strawberries
1 cup rock salt, divided
4 gallon-size plastic bags
4 sandwich plastic bags

Hull strawberries. Chop ⅓ and set aside. Place remaining strawberries in blender and pulse until minced but not pulverized.

In a large bowl, combine strawberries, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir well. Divide between sandwich bags.

Fill each gallon bag halfway with ice and ¼ cup of rock salt. Place a sandwich bag filled with mixture into each gallon bag and seal tightly. Wrap each with a hand towel, and distribute to your eager party guests.

Shake, being careful not to put pressure on the interior bag, for 10-15 minutes or until your cream solidifies and becomes ice cream. Serve immediately or freeze for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour.

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strawberry pretzel salad

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 12 servings.

½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
3 tablespoons sugar
2½ cups pretzel sticks, coarsely chopped
1 (6-ounce) package strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 cup cold water
3 cups fresh strawberries, capped and sliced
8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup sugar
8 ounces whipped topping
Chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine butter, 3 tablespoons sugar, and pretzels; mix well. Press pretzel mixture into a greased 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove dish from oven and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add cold water and stir. Add strawberries. Chill strawberry gelatin mixture until partially set. In a mixing bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, and 1 cup sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.

Spread cream cheese mixture over pretzel crust. Pour gelatin mixture over cream cheese layer. Chill until set. Top with chopped pecans (optional).

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photograph by Matt Hulsman

Frozen Margarita Pie

Recipe by Community Cookbook Series

1⅓ cups pretzels, crushed
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
1 (21-ounce) can strawberry pie filling
½ to ⅔ cup frozen margarita mix, thawed
1 (8-ounce) carton Cool Whip, thawed

Grease 9-inch pie plate. In a medium bowl, combine 1¼ cup of the pretzels, sugar, and butter. Press evenly onto bottom and sides of prepared pie plate to form crust. In a large bowl, combine strawberry pie filling and margarita mix. Fold in Cool Whip. Spoon mixture into crust. Sprinkle with remaining pretzels. Freeze for about two hours until firm. Before serving, remove pie from freezer, and let stand 30 minutes at room temperature.

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This story was published on Apr 27, 2023

Our State Staff

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