Strawberry season is here and the farm stand has abundance of fresh and tasty ones, full of flavor and wonderful aroma, so much better than the ones at the supermarket.Yet, unlike the store bought ones, these delicate strawberries don’t keep for long. As I was was tempted to buy more that can be consumed in a short time, I ended up using the surplus to make jams.
Since I’m not too fond of highly sugary jams, I cooked some of these strawberries with less sugar, and for a shorter time. This type of jam doesn’t keep long either, so I decided to use this light jam to flavor a simple buttermilk cake, to which I also added vanilla and a bit of freshly ground four peppers mix, to enhance the strawberries’ aroma.
Despite the fact the swirl didn’t turn out as “swirly” as I thought it would, the cake turned out very tasty and aromatic. This crowd pleasing and easy to make cake, is perfect for picnics or outdoors entertaining. Try it and enjoy.
* Most jams require equal amounts of fruit and sugar. Here I’ve used 2 cups of fruit per 1 cup of sugar, thus making a light jam that can keep for shorter time, in the fridge. It is perfect for serving with scones (recipe for which can be found HERE).
* The syrup can keep, in a jar in the fridge, for up to a month. It’s wonderful for flavoring lemonade, or ice tea.
* If you don’t have buttermilk, mix 1 cup of whole milk with 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice. Let stand for 5 minutes, until the mixture sours. Another option is to mix ½ cup of thick yogurt with ½ cup of whole milk.
* Four peppers mix consists of green, white, black and pink peppercorns. It adds an interesting subtle spiciness to the cake. However, if you feel it’s too bold for your taste, simply omit it .
Prep time: 10 minutes
Waiting time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1. Place the strawberries in a medium pot. Add the sugar and lemon juice and let sit for 2 hours, until the sugar dissolves.
2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, mixing lightly. Lower the heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes. Strain the strawberries from most of the syrup and place in separate jars. Seal while the jam and syrup are still hot . You should end up with about 1 cup of jam and ½ cup of syrup.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
2 L eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk (see notes)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup flour
1 Tbs baking powder
¼ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix (optional, see notes)
1 cup light strawberry jam, from above recipe
2 Tbs strawberry syrup, from above recipe
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line a 12” x 8” (20.5cm x 30cm) pan with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until it dissolves. Add the oil and whisk again. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and whisk again. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and four peppers mix, and whisk to a smooth batter. Do not over mix.
3. Pour most of the batter into the lined pan, leaving about ½ cup of batter in the bowl. Add the strained strawberries to the bowl and mix with a spatula. Using a spoon, add the mixture on top of the batter, then use a knife to swirl the batter in.
4. Bake for 40 minutes. Take out of the oven and brush the syrup on top of the cake. Place back in the oven and bake 5 minutes longer, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a rack, to cool to room temperature, before cutting.