Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Name Is Not Martha Stewart

Recently, Cori has signed us up for Green Bean Delivery to bring us fresh, [mostly] local produce every other week.  For our first delivery we received loads of things, ranging from blueberries to bi-colored corn.  Deep in the plastic green bin were some impressive strawberries, and tonight I put them to good use... in a cake (I can't do anything simply).  MAKE THIS.  I kid you not when I say it is easy, fast (relatively speaking), and delicious.  Plus, your entire house will smell like tart, berry heaven.  Promise.

Strawberry Cake

6 tablespoons butter, softened, plus more to butter your pie plate
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 tbsps sugar, +2 more tbsps sugar (for the top)
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk (I used 1% because it's what I had)
1 1/2 tsps vanilla
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

*preheat your oven to 350 degrees*

1. Butter the bottom and sides of your 10 inch pie plate (use a 9 inch and it will overfloooooow).  Set aside.
2. In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and 1 cup + 2 tbsps sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes on med-high speed.  I have a weird thing about the texture of this mixture... it makes me want to hug a giant stuffed animal while jumping on a bed.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  
4. Combine the egg, milk and vanilla in a measuring cup (or small bowl), and add to the sugar mixture.  Slowly add in the flour mixture and set your mixer on med-low speed to combine just until smooth.
5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pie plate, using an offset spatula to smooth the top.  Plate your strawberries, cut side down, as close together as you can on the surface of your cake.  Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbsps sugar.
6. Bake your cake on the middle rack for 10 minutes, then cut the oven temperature down to 325 degrees and bake for 1 hour.  You'll want to resist the temptation to open your oven every five minutes, as the smell will be intoxicating and you'll think it's already done - it's not.  Be patient...  It needs to be golden brown, and slightly darker around the edges, and you should do the toothpick test in the center (avoiding any strawberries) to ensure it comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack, then slice and serve with freshly-whipped cream.

If you're feeling frisky, try substituting whatever fruit you like that's in season.  Blackberries would be amazing with a little lemon zest, right??


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