I went late-season strawberry picking over 4th of July weekend at Jones Family Farms in Shelton, Connecticut. We also stopped by their winery and sampled their strawberry wine. As a proud Alpha Delta Pi woman, I immediately broke into song, because every self-respecting ADPi knows every single word to the Deanna Carter classic. J was only semi-mortified.
After the outing, I came home with the most stunning and perfectly sweet strawberries, but they were more of them than I knew what to do with. So, I fired up my oven the first weekend of July and surprised my coworkers with a treat first thing on Monday morning.
I actually made two cakes because I had that many berries to use up. First was my beloved Smitten Kitchen lemon yogurt anything cake and I hoarded that at home for myself. Second was a cornmeal-spiked cake from Katie At The Kitchen Door. It also has yogurt like the SK one, but the cornmeal added a really unique gritty bite to the cake.
Hi, is this not the most perfect berry you've ever seen?
I made the batter according to the recipe, though I used just slightly less than 1/2 cup of sugar since I was increasing the berry amount. I folded one and a half cups of strawberries (maybe more) into the batter and then placed some slices on top. I'm telling you - SO MANY STRAWBERRIES TO USE.
I also used a 9x9 instead of the recipe-recommended loaf pan. I like the square shape if I'm cutting the final product into bite-sized work sharing pieces. This went into a 350 degree oven at the same time as the SK cake. I didn't know how sharing the oven would impact bake time, so I checked both at the 40 minute mark and every 5 after that. This cornmeal cake came out around the 50 minute mark, per my recollection.
I let it cool for about 5 minutes in the pan before turning it out onto parchment paper on top of a wire rack.
I left it on our office kitchen island just before 9 am. It was gone by 10:30. Every single bite contained a sweet burst of strawberry. The yogurt made the cake very creamy, but there was still an incredible texture from the cornmeal. Absolutely a winner - I can't wait to recreate this and actually keep it at home! It would be perfect at breakfast, with some bubbles at a brunch spread, or even as a mid-afternoon snack alongside a hot cup of tea. I can't wait to try this with other berries, too - I'm guessing blackberries plus cornmeal will be a match made in heaven.