The icy winter weather beat down a lot of the fruits and vegetables we usually enjoy this time of year. Thankfully, some sweet strawberries made it to the farmers market.

These gorgeous red berries are the most beautiful of reminders that spring is just around the corner.

Trying to save a few for other shoppers, I restricted myself to buying just two pints and started dreaming of the wonderful strawberry dishes they would create. However, when I got home, I had to give up one pint for my youngest child’s snacking pleasure. I cannot deny a kid who asks for fruit.

Strawberry season is on the way. Here's how the winter storm will affect this year's crop.

With the second pint, I was still able to make two delicious dishes. First, I pureed the strawberries then strained the puree to remove the seeds.

The juice went in one dish, and the crushed berries in another.

This Strawberry Crème Brûlée is a slightly rosy twist on this classic creamy custard. The strained strawberry juice gives the crème brûlée the right touch of flavor without changing the custard’s silky texture. A little strawberry extract instead of vanilla put these little custard cups over the top.

I Eat La.: Thaw out with a bowl of these rich, creamy seafood bisques

To the strained and pureed strawberries, I added softened cream cheese to make a simple Strawberry Cream. This mix-and-chill dessert is great to whip up the night before.

The true effects of our icy winter will be revealed in the coming weeks. Please help our Louisiana farmers recover by shopping at your local market early and often or consider donating to your local farmers market fund.

Strawberry Cream

Makes 8-10 servings. Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 pound powdered sugar

1 cup pureed strawberries (1 pint)

Whipped cream (optional)

1. Whip together cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, lemon juice and powdered sugar.

2. Stir in pureed strawberries.

3. Spoon strawberry cream mixture into individual serving cups.

4. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

5. Serve chilled topped with whipped cream, if desired.

Strawberry Crème Brûlée

Makes 6 servings. Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

8 egg yolks

⅓ cup sugar + ¼ cup sugar for tops

1½ cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup juice strained from 1 pint pureed strawberries

1 teaspoon strawberry extract

1. Heat oven to 300 F.

2. Whisk together egg yolks and ⅓ cup sugar until pale yellow.

3. Whisk in cream until blended.

4. Puree strawberries and strain through a sieve. Stir in strained strawberry juice and extract.

5. Pour into six small ramekins. Place ramekins in a casserole baking dish.

6. Create a water bath by filling the casserole dish with water to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

7. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the center is slightly set.

8. Chill at least 3 hours or overnight.

9. Before serving, shake a thin layer of granulated sugar on top of each ramekin. Brown with a kitchen torch or place under the oven broiler until slightly golden.

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. Contact her at