Strawberry-Cornmeal-Olive Oil Snacking Cake

My family really embraces strawberry season. We can’t get enough freshly picked Long Island berries! 🙂 After making our essential Strawberry-Vanilla Bean Jam, I made this super moist, coarse-textured snack cake which incorporated my special jam.

I baked the cake a day in advance and served it for dessert with homemade Fresh Strawberry Gelato. Yes, it was over the top! We ate the leftovers for breakfast. In retrospect, although it is sweet enough to be a dessert, I think that I would serve it for breakfast, or as a special snack with tea or coffee, next time. It was a wonderful breakfast- such a treat.

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Sarah Jampel. I modified the baking time and used homemade jam. The jam sinks to the bottom of the cake and, with the granulated sugar coating, forms a crispy, caramelized crust. Yum.

Yield: One 13×9-inch sheet cake

  • 8 to 10 oz strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 238 g (1 cup plus 3 T) granulated sugar, divided, plus more for pan
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt, plus more
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan (or use cooking spray for pan)
  • 188 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 60 g (1/2 cup) cornmeal, preferably finely ground
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 T sour cream
  • finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam, stirred (original recipe recommends Bonne Maman Intense)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°, preferably on convection.
  2. Gently toss strawberries, 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, and a pinch of coarse salt in a medium bowl. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until ready to use.
  3. Grease a 13×9-inch metal baking pan with oil or cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on 2 long sides.
  4. Grease parchment with oil or cooking oil spray. Generously sprinkle pan and parchment with sugar, tilting to coat pan in an even layer; tap out excess.
  5. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, 200 g (1 cup) sugar, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt in a medium bowl.
  6. Whisk eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla in a large bowl until well combined.
  7. Add dry ingredients to sour cream mixture and whisk gently to combine.
  8. Using a spatula, gradually fold in 3/4 cup oil until batter is smooth and homogenous with all of the oil incorporated.
  9. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
  10. Stir the strawberry jam to make more fluid. Using a small spoon, dollop jam onto surface. (I made 36 small dollops over the surface of the cake.) Using a butter knife or small offset spatula, gently swirl jam into batter.
  11. Arrange reserved strawberries on top of batter in even rows, touching at widest points. (You may have extra sliced berries; reserve for another use.) See note.
  12. Sprinkle all over with remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
  13. Bake cake until risen and deeply bronzed with no damp spots in the middle, the sides begin to pull away from the pan, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes in a convection oven or up to 40–45 minutes in a standard oven.

Note: Because the strawberries will shrink and sink a bit during baking (how much depends on their size and sweetness), make sure they’re placed shoulder to shoulder on top of the batter. (My design didn’t hold up very well during the baking process but no one seemed to mind.)

Do Ahead: Cake can be made 4 days ahead. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Rosemary-Mustard Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Onion Jam

I am a major sauce fan. The sweet onion jam really made this dish special. The meat was also loaded with flavor from the rosemary-mustard-garlic seasoning. I served it with maple syrup roasted acorn squash, and roasted gold and sweet potatoes, carrots, and kohlrabi. It was a weeknight feast.

This recipe was adapted from Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski. I increased the amount of garlic and substituted apple cider for bourbon in the onion jam. Delicious.

Yield: Serves 4

For the Maple-Onion Jam:

  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds red onions, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 4 1/2 cups)(I used 2 large onions)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh apple cider or bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the Rosemary-Mustard Pork Tenderloin:

  • 4 to 8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 T grainy or creamy Dijon mustard
  • 1 T plus 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 T plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 (1 to 1 1/4-pound) pork tenderloins
  • 1 T unsalted butter

To Make the Maple-Onion Jam:

  1. In a large heavy skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium heat until the butter is melted. (I used a stainless steel sauté pan.)
  2. Add the onions and 1/4 tsp salt, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are very tender and sweet, 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Add the maple syrup and cider (or bourbon), increase the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the onions are jammy, about 7 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully and lower the heat if necessary.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in pepper and 1/4 tsp salt. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: The jam can be made ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

To Make the Rosemary-Mustard Pork Tenderloin:

  1. While the jam cooks, mound the sliced garlic with 1 teaspoon salt on a cutting board. Using a chef’s knife, mash and chop into a paste.
  2. Transfer garlic to a small bowl. Stir in the mustard, rosemary, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 2 tsp olive oil.
  3. With a paring knife or kitchen shears, make 12 x-shaped incisions, about 1/8-inch deep, all over each tenderloin.
  4. Rub the tenderloin all over with the garlic mixture, stuffing bits into the incisions.
  5. With a rack in the center, heat the oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast. (This temperature is ideal for roasting vegetables at the same time.)
  6. In a large oven proof skillet, heat the butter and remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and foamy. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
  7. Add the tenderloins and cook until browned on the bottom, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Turn browned side up and transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork reads 135 degrees, about 15 to 20 minutes. (I used the oven probe.)
  9. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
  10. Cut the pork into thick slices and serve with the onion jam.

Strawberry-Vanilla Bean Jam

IMG_1225

The first time I went strawberry picking on the North Fork in Long Island, I went to a friend’s house to make jam with her family. We made simple, perfect strawberry jam. I have made this jam for years. (so unlike me!) So, this year I looked around to try something new, initially to try a pectin-free jam. While perusing recipes, I found this one from a cookbook called Food in Jars, via First Look, Then Cook. It had me at vanilla bean. 🙂 The strawberries macerate in sugar and vanilla beans for a minimum of 2-3 hours and up to a maximum of 72 hours (of course I had to do 72 hours to maximize the vanilla flavor). The result was pretty fabulous! Next year I will have to pick even more strawberries to make this and another new kind of jam! SO GOOD!

Makes 8 8-ounce jars IMG_4000

  • 12 cups of ripe, chopped strawberries
  • 2-3 vanilla beans, split and scraped (I used 2)
  • 6 cups of sugar, divided
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 4 tablespoons powdered pectin (I use Sure-Jell)
  1. Wash and prepare/sterilize jars and lids. (To be safe, I prepare 9 jars.)
  2. Wash and chop berries. Toss them with 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla beans/seeds and place in a large jar or bowl.  Allow the berries to macerate for at least 2-3 hours and up to 72 hours. IMG_3906
  3. When you’re ready to make the jam, prepare jars (this recipe makes 5 pints).  Pour macerated strawberries into a large, non-reactive pot and add the remaining cups of sugar, lemon juice and zest and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil (this jam will foam madly, beware).  Cook jam over high heat, stirring regularly for 20-25 minutes, until it takes on a thick, syrupy consistency.
  4. Remove the vanilla beans. Add the pectin and bring to a rolling boil.  Let the jam boil vigorously for an additional three to four minutes.
  5. Remove jam from the stove, and ladle into your prepared jars. (I use a canning funnel and the mess is minimal.)
  6. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings. Process in your canner for 10 minutes (You should start your timer until the water has returned to a boil- however, as long as your water is quite hot when the jars go into the canner, the time it will take to return to boiling should be minimal.) (To cheat, the jars filled with hot jam can be inverted after the lids have been placed. After 5 minutes, place them right side up. The jars are sealed when the center button in the lid pops.)
  7. When time is up, remove jars from canner and let them cool on a towel-lined counter top.
  8. When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and check seals.  If any jars are not sealed, store them in the fridge and use them first.  Store sealed jars in a cool, dark place. IMG_3945

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