mmm....strawberries. Actually, I should be more specific...mmm, fresh native strawberries. I don't always get along with strawberry-flavored things (I've always been more of a blueberry girl) and the huge cultivated strawberries usually found in the market don't really do too much for me. But the real, local thing...oh yeah baby. Sweet and tart at the same time, with the most amazing fragrance - that's what we call a Culinary Orgasm. Growing up, if we got to Maine early enough in the summer the tiny wild strawberries would still be in season...tiny things, about the size of peas....but little explosions of flavor, the promise of summer on your tongue. Sadly, I don't get to Maine nearly enough these days, so I have to be patient and wait for the native strawberries to hit the farm stands around here. Not quite the same as wild, but still worlds apart from the flavorless behemoths you find in the markets the rest of the year. Not that I don't occasionally give in and buy some...ain't nothin' like the real thing, though.
|EAT ME !!|
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Martha Stewart
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved
Powdered sugar and freshly whipped cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth. Pour into prepared pie plate. Layer strawberries over batter as closely as possible in a single layer (some will overlap, which is fine - the idea is to spread them out as much as you can) Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
Bake cake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a toothpick in the cakey parts comes out free of wet batter, at least an hour more (really, an hour - it won't burn I promise !) Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and let cool in pan on a rack. Serve slightly warm, with whipped cream.