When it rains, strawberries go on sale at the CalAve farmers’ market! Who knew? Perfect for a pie, for most bakers. I’ve already confessed my cookie-baking phobia, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that making pie crusts aren’t yet in my repertoire. (We’ll discuss my avoidance of yeast another day. How is it that I claim to be a baker?) In my recently, very specifically filed recipe clips, I found the answer under Desserts > Fruit: strawberry cake.
Carter had decided he would rather watch a movie with Daddy than bake with Mommy, until I started making the cake around bedtime. Then, big surprise, he wanted to stay up and bake. Carter got away with it only somewhat (yes, he gets away with probably too much with me, but that’s yet another story). I let him get out of bed to arrange the strawberries on top the batter—a perfect colorful, tactile task for kids.
This strawberry cake is closer to a coffeecake or teacake than a dessert cake. It’s delicious and looked beautiful in the Emile Henry pie dish I got for a wedding present—something I didn’t registered for, but should have. Mine came from Williams Sonoma, Emile Henry also now makes a pink “Bake for the Cause” pie dish. Another confession: I had to Google to find out how to measure a pie pan. The answer is rim to rim at the widest part.
I also had to Google to find out the origin of the recipe—turns out I clipped it from the June 2005 Martha Stewart Living, so it’s nearly as old as Carter. Good thing I saved it. Better thing: I could—finally—easily find it.
6 tablespoons butter, softened, plus more for greasing pie plate
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking poweder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
Preheat over to 350˚F. Butter a 10-inch pie dish (or a 9-inch deep one).
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high to cream butter and 1 cup sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in the egg, milk, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture.
Transfer batter to buttered pie pan. Arrange strawberries on top of the batter, with cut sides down, as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the berries.
Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325˚F. Bake until the cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into wedges to serve.
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living