Strawberry season has arrived and a great way to jump right in and enjoy them after a long winter hiatus is by buying them in bulk at the farmers market. A half a flat (6 baskets) can be found for $12 which is far below grocery store prices.
You’ll make a dent in the bounty by grazing on them at their freshest. But by the end of the day, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator. Do not wash them before storing. Layer the bottom of an airtight container with a paper towel, put a layer of strawberries on top and alternate paper towels and strawberry layers ending with paper towel. Put the top on and they’ll last for at least a few days in the refrigerator.
If you want to save some for smoothies, spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer for about an hour which will prevent them from sticking together when transferred to a ziplock bag.
But before they’re put away, try this family favorite recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I plan to post a new berry recipe weekly during the season. Any great ones to share? You can forward suggestions via email.
Strawberry Vanilla Cake
After preparing the batter…
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
- 1 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar (or use brown sugar for topping)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Butter a 9 or 10-inch 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.
- Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer.
- Sprinkle remaining 1-2 tablespoons white or brown sugar over berries.
- Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes.
- Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges.
Optional: Serve with lightly whipped cream.
Do ahead: Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, loosely covered.
Source: Smitten Kitchen
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