And every spring I watch as berries pop up everywhere on the net, and realize that we still have a loooong way to go here in the Midwest before there are any decent berries to speak of.
We do start getting some ok strawberries around this time though. Only from Florida or California, which pretty much fails any locavore test you can think of, but at least they actually smell like strawberries. And because my own frozen berry collection is running out, and because I want to bake spring-like baked goods, not winter ones, even though we are still on winter produce locally speaking, I start trying to think of ways to use strawberries in baked goods.
Strawberries are a tough one though. Certainly not impossible, but they do not permeate nearly so many baked good recipes as raspberries and blueberries. So I usually find myself substituting and creating new dishes, rather than finding many recipes for breads or cakes meant for strawberries.
So here I am recycling my Blueberry Buckle. I used all of the zest of one lemon and one lime in the batter, but otherwise the recipe is the same. Because I figure that well-traveled strawberries will not have the same punch as middle of season local blueberries, I think extra citrus punch works well in the cake. As a matter of fact, next time I would use even more.
Speaking of old fashioned baked goods, don’t forget to send in your entries for my Grandma’s Recipes blogging event. I want the recipes that remind you most of your grandmother(s)!
6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup (95 g) AP flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 t lemon oil
1/8 t salt
1 ¾ cup (220 g) sifted AP flour (sift first, then spoon in and level)
1 t baking powder
½ t salt
½ cup (1 stick) softened butter
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lime
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla
¼ cup milk (I used 2% plus a drizzle of cream)
2 cups cut strawberries, washed and thoroughly dried before cutting (cut the strawberries down to quarters or smaller for large strawberries and then measure them)
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Generously butter a 9 inch springform plan and then line the bottom with a parchment paper circle cut out to fit.
Prepare the streusel: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove and cool to tepid. Add the lemon oil to the butter. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and stir together with a fork or small whisk.
Prepare the batter: In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
Beat the butter and zests in a large bowl until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar, in a slow drizzle, and beat on medium speed for 5-6 minutes until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each. Scrape the bowl. Blend in the vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and milk alternately, in 2 additions for the milk and 3 for the flour. Blend until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer (if using) and remove the paddle and, using a spatula, finish mixing the batter by hand, being careful to not overwork. When the batter is totally combined, fold in the strawberries very gently.
Scrape the prepared batter into the prepared pan–it is a thick, stiff batter and will need to be gently leveled. Pick up the streusel by the handful, squeezing gently and then crumbling into large pieces over the batter. Use all of the streusel to cover the entire top of the cake evenly. Press the streusel into the cake gently.
Bake the cake for 50-55 minutes. The cake is done when a tester comes out clean and the sides are beginning to pull away from the pan. Remove the cake and let it cool for 20 minutes on a cooling rack. Then remove the sides of the pan and let it cool another 30 minutes. Then use foil to cover the top and upper sides of the cake to hold the topping on. Place a cooling rack over the top and invert the cake. Quickly remove the bottom pan and invert the cake back onto the original cooling rack. Remove the foil.
The cake can be served warm but I served the cake at room temperature the next morning and it was delicious.