Strawberry Buckle (6 servings)

buckle.jpg

Strawberry season is almost over here in Pennsylvania, which is a sad, sad fact.  I made a strawberry-laden version of Martha Stewart's Raspberry Buckle a few weeks ago and was so impressed that I may squeeze in another batch before the berries are gone.  Say what you will about Martha, but the lady knows her way around desserts.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved (make sure you pat them dry after you rinse them)
  • Whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Use the butter wrapper or non-stick spray to prep the bottom and sides of a 2-quart baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer on low until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to combine.  Stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Gradually add this mixture to the butter mixture with the mixer on low speed. 
  4. Spread batter into baking dish.  Scatter strawberries on top.  Bake for 45-50 minutes (I think I baked it for more like 55 min) until a toothpick inserted into the center of the dish comes out clean.  The top should be golden brown.  Let it cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

I like this recipe because the fluffy "cake" part isn't overly sweet, so it allows the berries to really show their stuff.  It's easy to make (I was able to avoid my "use every bowl, utensil, and measuring cup in the kitchen" tendency) and looks beautifully old-fashioned.  The first time I made it, I used only strawberries, but this past time, I threw in a handful of dark, sweet cherries, too.  I think it would also be lovely with cranberries and some orange zest.  Blueberries and lemon zest would be terrific too!  Ooh, now I'm all excited for summertime!