French Strawberry Cake

A friend shared this wonderful recipe with me knowing that I go strawberry picking every June. I couldn’t wait for my fresh picked berries to make it though. 😉 It was such a crowd pleaser, I will have to make it again with my special berries! It’s a summertime version of French Apple Cake. We ate it for dessert but it would also be fabulous as a coffee cake.

This recipe was adapted from Foodtastic Mom, via The View from the Great Island. I used 3 large eggs instead of jumbo eggs and modified the baking time. The recipe suggests baking the cake in a springform pan or a cast iron skillet. Next time, I’ll have to try the skillet version. Amazing!

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  1. Set oven to 350°F, preferably on convection.
  2. Lightly spray a 9 or 10 inch springform pan with cooking oil spray. (Alternatively, a 10-inch cast iron skillet can be used.)
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  4. Cream the soft butter with 1 cup of granulated sugar in a stand mixer for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl a couple of times.
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the vanilla.
  6. Stir the sour cream and buttermilk together, and then add the flour to the mixing bowl alternately with the wet, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until combined, but be careful not to overmix.
  7. Fold in the berries and turn into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top. Sprinkle the surface of the cake liberally with the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar.
  8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake no longer jiggles in the center and the top is golden and slightly crackled. This cake is meant to be custardy in the center. The exact cooking time will depend on the pan size you use. You can insert a toothpick in the center to test. (I baked mine for 38 minutes in a 9-inch springform pan.)
  9. Let cool briefly, and then unlatch the spring and remove the outer ring. I like to run a spreading knife along the edge first to loosen any parts of the cake that are sticking to the pan. If using a skillet, serve the cake right out of the pan.
  10. Cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Notes:

  • This version uses half sour cream and half buttermilk, but you can use all sour cream, all buttermilk, half and half, full fat yogurt, or full fat milk for this cake.
  • Other berries or fruit can be substituted for the strawberries.

One Year Ago: Berry Breeze and Blueberry Muffin Tops with Streusel Topping

Two Years Ago: Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins with Orange Streusel

Three Years Ago: Dori Sanders’ Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

Four Years Ago: Alton Brown’s Berry Muffins

Five Years Ago: Whole Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones

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Whole Wheat-Bartlett Pear Crumb Cake

This cake was nutty, earthy, and really really moist. The entire house smelled absolutely incredible while it baked- much of the credit should be given to the orange zest in the batter. Even more wonderful orange flavor was added after the cake was removed from the oven when fresh orange juice was drizzled all over the top. Fabulous!

This recipe was adapted from Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes from our Kitchen by Zoe Nathan with Josh Loeb and Laurel Almerinda. I weighed whole roasted almonds and then finely ground them in a mini food processor instead of using store-bought almond flour. I used fat-free Greek yogurt instead of whole plain yogurt. I also substituted oat bran for the toasted wheat germ in the original recipe. Wheat bran or ground flaxseed would also work as substitutes. I also baked the cake in a 9-inch springform pan instead of a 10-inch cake pan.

The authors offer seasonal adaptations to this recipe by substituting blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, apricots, peaches, or figs for the pears. Yummy!

Yield: Makes one 9-inch cake

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (110 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 55 g (1/2 cup plus 2 T) almond flour
  • 20 g (1/4 cup plus 2 T) rolled oats
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 T oat bran, toasted wheat germ, wheat bran, or ground flaxseed
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 20 g (1/4 cup) sliced almonds

For the Cake:

  • 170 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 160 g (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 55 g (3/4 cup) oat bran, toasted wheat germ, wheat bran, or ground flaxseed
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) almond flour
  • 3 T rye flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 ml) plain yogurt (I used fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • zest of 1 orange, *fruit reserved*
  • 3 pears, peeled and thickly sliced into 6 pieces each (I used Bartlett pears)

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To Make the Topping:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, almond flour, oats, granulated sugar, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, and salt. Blend with a pastry blender until homogenous.
  2. Add sliced almonds and blend with your fingers. Refrigerate until needed.

To Make the Cake:

  1. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line and grease a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and cooking spray.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Incorporate the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well.
  4. Pause mixing and all the all-purpose flour, wheat germ, almond flour, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt, and orange zest. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not over mix!
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and cover evenly with the pears.
  6. Top with the crumble, allowing a little fruit to poke through.
  7. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes or up to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake!
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan; then squeeze the orange over the entire cake.
  9. Remove the side of the pan and gently pull the parchment paper from every nook and cranny of the cake.

Note: This cake is best served the day it is made, but it will keep, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 days at room temperature.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Peach-Pie Crumble Bars

It is going to be really difficult not to make these cookie-like pie bars with my next batch of CSA share peaches. They were really good. The thick bottom crust has a nice crumb but is also a little bit brown and crisp on the bottom. A great combination of textures. The center is a fruity, jammy, and chunky pie filling… Mmmmm…. I also love that the peaches don’t have to be peeled! The only downfall is how long it takes to cool before being sliced. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I used a blend of my CSA share yellow peaches and white donut peaches. I also reduced the baking time for a convection oven and covered the pan halfway through baking to prevent over-browning. (I may reduce the temperature to 350 degrees next time and increase the baking time? This would allow the top to brown more evenly without over-crisping the bottom of the crust.) The original recipe suggests replacing the peaches with other seasonal fruit such as nectarines or apricots, and, in the fall, apples. I’m looking forward to trying it with apples. Great!

I’m bringing this summer treat to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #83 hosted by Elaine @FoodBod and Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook. Enjoy! 🙂

For the Crust:

  • 1 stick plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds peaches, pitted and cut into a 1/2-inch dice (3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch cake pan. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides; butter parchment. (I used cooking oil spray.) (Consider baking at 350 degrees and increasing the baking time.)
  2. Make the Crust: Beat butter with sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down bowl. Add flour and salt; beat until dough forms clumps but does not completely hold together. Press 2 1/2 cups flour mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. (I used the bottom of a dry measuring cup.)
  3. Make the Filling: Stir together peaches, sugar, flour, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl.
  4. Pour the filling into the crust.
  5. Crumble remaining flour mixture evenly over top, squeezing to create clumps. Bake until bubbling in center and crust is golden, about 1 hour on convection or up to 1 hour, 10 minutes in a standard oven. (If browning too quickly, tent top with foil- I covered mine after 35 minutes in the oven.)
  6. Let cool 20 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Dori Sanders’ Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

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As much as I enjoy trying new dishes and recipes, I have been making the same peach cobbler for about 20 years! I originally found the recipe in Southern Living- but remembered that it was originally from Dori Sanders’ Country Cooking.

A few weeks ago, we stopped by a community trust fundraiser sale at one of the oldest homes in my town (Circa 1610!). I spotted- yes– Dori Sanders’ Country Cooking: Recipes and Stories from the Family Farm Stand on a table loaded with cookbooks. Yay! In the peach chapter, along with my favorite easy peach cobbler, was a recipe for peach cornmeal muffins.

As we had been on a Southern food binge after my husband’s birthday dinner and all of the leftovers (which we ate for DAYS), I had to make them right away. 🙂 Using blueberries instead of peaches seemed like the appropriate seasonal substitute. I also adapted the recipe to incorporate whole wheat pastry flour. Simple and delicious!

Yield: 12 muffins

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/8 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk ( I used 1 percent)
  • 1 cup blueberries (or finely chopped fresh peaches for the peach version)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees on convection.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add the egg and again beat until light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg and mix well.
  4. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture in two parts alternating with the milk, stirring after each addition until just combined.
  5. Add the fruit and stir until just incorporated.
  6. Fill greased muffin tins two-thirds full with the batter and bake in the preheated oven for about 17 minutes on convection, or for up to 25 minutes in a standard oven. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then gently remove from muffin tins and allow to cool completely before serving.

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One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Jacques Pepin’s Plum Galette

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Galettes have the most fabulous presentation- and simple preparation. The best combination! 🙂 This buttery and flaky crust can be made in minutes, and this tart can be made with any seasonal fruit. It was amazing with a combination of red and black plums. This recipe was adapted from a staff-favorite Food and Wine recipe, contributed by Jacques Pépin.

I’m bringing it to my favorite weekly blog party, Fiesta Friday #33, at The Novice Gardener this week. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 8

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For the Pate Brisee:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup ice water

For the Filling:

  • 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 pounds large plums—halved, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (I used a combination of red & black plums)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small bits
  • 1/2 cup good-quality plum, apricot or raspberry preserves, strained if chunky or seedy
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  1. Make the Pate Brisee: Put the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and process for 5 seconds; the butter should still be in pieces. Add the ice water and process for 5 seconds longer, just until the dough comes together; the butter should still be visible.
  2. Remove the dough from the processor and gather it into a ball. On a lightly floured surface or plastic wrap, roll out the dough into a 16-by-18-inch oval 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to a large, heavy baking sheet (I used a very large cutting board.). Chill the dough until firm, about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°(convection).
  3. Transfer the chilled dough onto a large piece of parchment paper.
  4. Make the Filling: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the ground almonds and flour. Spread this mixture evenly over the dough to within 2 inches of the edge. Arrange the plum wedges on top in a circular pattern and dot with the butter. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup sugar over the fruit. Fold the edge of the dough up over the plums to create a 2-inch border. (If the dough feels cold and firm, wait for a few minutes until it softens to prevent it from cracking.) Sprinkle the border with the teaspoon of turbinado sugar.
  5. Transfer the tart, on the parchment paper, to a large, rimmed baking sheet. (I used a pizza peel for the transfer.)
  6. Bake the galette in the middle of the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes (on convection) or up to 1 hour in a standard oven, until the fruit is very soft and the crust is richly browned. If any juices have leaked onto the baking sheet, slide a knife under the galette to release it from the sheet. Evenly brush the preserves over the hot fruit; brush some up onto the crust, too, if desired. Let the galette cool to room temperature before serving.

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One Year Ago:

Easy Peach Cobbler

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I have made this dessert every summer for over 15 years! It is simple, easy and wonderful. The method is unlike any other cobbler I have made.  First, the batter is poured over melted butter in a baking dish. Then the unpeeled peach slices are cooked in sugar and lemon juice after which they are layered on top of the batter. As the cobbler bakes, the batter rises and envelopes the peaches.

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I add more peaches than stated in the recipe because I can’t help myself. 🙂 I bought TONS of peaches at our farm stand because they were so gorgeous!! We were eating even more peaches while I was putting these ingredients together. The recipe calls for 4 cups of sliced peaches and I used 5 large (gigantic) yellow peaches. The end result had more peach and less batter per bite and was terrific. This recipe is from Dori Sanders’ Country Cooking, via Southern Living. We ate it with Pecan Shortbread Cookies– is that too much? 🙂 They went surprisingly well together.

Yield: 10 servings (or more if served with cookies!)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 T baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1 percent)
  • 4 cups fresh peach slices (I used 5 large peaches)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
  1. Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
  2. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over melted butter (DO NOT STIR).
  3. Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (DO NOT STIR).
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes (on convection) to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.

White Peach & Raspberry Cobbler with Butter Biscuits

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Did I mention that my family went peach, raspberry & blackberry picking? 🙂 It was difficult for me to decide to make with all of the goods (besides jam, of course!), but my husband wanted COBBLER! Then it was difficult to pick the recipe…I have made this in the past and enjoyed it, it used a combination of two of my fresh fruits and sounded great- so, the decision was made. I don’t bother peeling peaches for a cobbler- it is such a rustic dessert. This recipe was adapted from Bill Neal’s Southern Cooking.

For the Fruit:

  • 8 large peaches, peeled (if desired), & sliced (I used white peaches)
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 T flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

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For the Biscuits:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • Flour, sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving
  1. For fruit, combine peaches, raspberries, sugar, flour and cinnamon in large mixing bowl; pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish. (I skip a step and combine everything in the greased baking dish.) Set aside. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. For biscuits, mix flour, baking powder, 1 T sugar and salt in medium bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender. Stir in milk and cream until just combined (don’t over mix); turn onto floured surface.
  3. Gently knead dough and roll or pat to 1/2-inch thick. Cut into circles or other shapes with biscuit cutter; place biscuits on top of fruit. Sprinkle biscuits with sugar.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until biscuits are lightly browned. Serve with ice cream.

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