Strawberry Bread (recipe found here) became a recipe when I did what I always seem to do during fresh strawberry season, buy too many strawberries. Before I can finish them, they are overripe. The bread is much like banana bread, it does best with very overripe fruit and wow, does it pack a powerful strawberry flavor. And it’s not too sweet because I don’t like to overwhelm the tart goodness of the strawberries.
Tonight’s other treat is a variation on the recipe JeffreyW used in the picture above. I made it yesterday and thought it was the best shortcake I’ve ever made – really light and fluffy.
I’ll be honest, I prefer pre-made sour cream angel food cake with my strawberries. My local grocery bakery has them on sale this time of year, and I can’t make it better. Oh, let’s face it, I’ve never made a successful angel food cake, ever. Sigh. But for a homemade dessert, this shortcake would be my choice. Couldn’t be easier to make and tastes wonderful.
The cake is not terribly sweet which I prefer and I cut down the sugar on the strawberries by 1 tablespoon, because I prefer them tart. I can’t omit the sugar completely because you need sugar to bring the juices out of the berries, essential for strawberry shortcake. So you may want to adjust the sugar up or down according to your preference. Additional sugar in the cake will not affect how it bakes up.
What’s your favorite way to serve strawberries? Has anyone made a real Parisian strawberry tart? And more importantly, what are you weekend food plans?
- 2 pints of strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
- 5 to 7 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups unbleached flour
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream (you can substitute 3/4 cup milk and 1/3 cup butter)
- Whipped Cream (recipe below)
2 Mixing bowls
8×8 glass baking dish or baking sheet
Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar (I only used 2 tbsp, see note above) and set aside for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar (if you want sweeter, add an addition 1 to 2 tbsp sugar), and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. You do not want to over mix this, just until all ingredients are combined, that’s why it’s important to whisk or sift together the dry ingredients. This is going to be a little moister than cookie dough – it does not look at all like cake batter, since it’s more of a biscuit mix. Spoon mixture into an ungreased 8-x8 square pan and pat down either by hand or use a spatula. I used a baking sheet and dropped spoonfuls onto the sheet to make 6 individual cakes. Bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes for cake pan, 10-12 minutes for baking sheet.
Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally.
Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve.
I made the whipped cream ahead of time and let it refrigerate so it was nice and cold when served:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled (I chill the cream in a glass mixing bowl, along with the beaters)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest*
Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Fold in sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest*.
*some people really like this, me not so much, I thought it overwhelmed the cream. I’ll omit it next time.
While I was puttering about with the blackberry dessert Mrs J was making another of those apple crisps that TaMara posted on a little ways back. We baked it in another one of the new 8×8 pans instead of the cast iron. Worked great!
We’ve done these before. The recipe, such as it is, is simple enough: Dump some fruit into a pan, scatter a handful of rolled oats over the fruit, dump a cake mix atop that, and then dump butter on top of the mix. Bake in a 350 oven till the top browns and the fruit bubbles up.
I went with a bag of blackberries mixed with some Splenda for sweetener and a bit of lemon juice and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Some recipes go with raw fruit but I opted for cooking mine down and adding some corn starch as a thickener. I was breaking in a new 8×8 pan so I used only a half box of white cake mix over the rolled oats, and used a grater to shred a stick of very cold butter right over that. Using a 9×13 cake pan you would use the entire box of mix and two sticks of butter.