So this past Thursday–as on every Thursday–I went to the farmer’s market just down the block where merchants flock to sell their fresh wares and apparently no baked goods except those produced in large-scale commercial kitchens are allowed. (Go figure.) Still, I love this weekly market, and my friend and I have frequented it so often that we’ve become–to my eternal delight–regulars! The bolani man and the produce guy know our names, and will usually slip some little extra goodies into our bags. Like any well-formed insecure person, I like to please, and so I usually get something every time I go even if there are weeks when I don’t particularly need anything.
This week was one of those weeks. I arrived around 3 in the afternoon with the stern conviction that I was not going to splurge on unnecessary pantry items. When I got to the fruit stand, though, the vendor did three very clever things: 1) he called me by my name, 2) he said he had missed us (where had we been?) and 3) he was a living human being who recognized my existence. My resolution evaporated on the spot. I was definitely buying.
I ended up getting an entire flat of strawberries that I knew at a glance that a famished fruit bat (not to mention myself) would not be able to finish. I popped some of the ripest ones in my mouth that evening, and sat around wondering what I should do with the rest of them before they went bad.
Now, if you’ve ever had an entire flat of fruit sitting around your kitchen staring at you accusingly, you know what your first impulse is going to be. And I gave into that impulse–I’m getting really good at that. I hulled and sliced up the last two baskets of strawberries, and threw that whole thing into a coffee cake. Bam. Done.
And it wasn’t such a bad impulse after all:
It came out amazingly moist, the nice bite of tangy but sweet strawberries added a wonderful touch. The only thing I would have done differently next time was made a bit more of the streusel topping–it adds a great sweet kick, and I would pick it over a cherry on top any day.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
For the topping:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cold butter
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat the egg, milk and butter. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
- Pour batter into a greased 8-in. square baking dish. Top with strawberries.
- To make the topping: Combine flour and sugar in a bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in walnuts–you can omit these if you want–and sprinkle the whole mixture over strawberries. Press in lightly.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares, serve, and enjoy!
Happy readings, and happy eatings!