i spent a lot of years playing in my school’s marching band. ok, i was a band geek. and darn proud of it. whether out on the field or in a parade, decked out in the 1950’s uniforms we inherited from classes long past, or just sitting in a rehearsal, band became my haven and heaven. not merely a class i’d attend during third period, band was the place i fine-tuned my listening skills, developed the discipline of practice and deepened my understanding of and commitment to ensemble. did i mention band meant hanging out with my dearest friends (translation: BFFs)??
the fourth of July and the thought of John Philip Sousa marches brings these warm memories flooding back. if you’re hanging out with family and friends on the 4th, i invite you to bake them this super simple, moist and fruity cake. constructed with fresh, juicy and perfect local frog strawberries (any strawberries will do), this cake can help usher in the evening’s fireworks.
i’ll be listening to Sousa marches (more intently to the piccolo parts, of course) and firing up the grill. i might have to turn on the Boston Pops for a few (right, ma?). and i’ll be thinking how amazing it is to live in the U.S.A. what will you be up to? happy 4th!
Stars and Stripes Strawberry Cake
as found on smitten kitchen and adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 scant cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole organic milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
heavy whipping cream, vanilla bean and sugar
- preheat oven to 350°F.
- butter a 9-inch, deep-dish pie pan or 9-inch cake pan.
- in a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt.
- in the bowl of a stand mixer, with beater attachment, beat butter and scant 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- add egg, milk and vanilla, and mix until just combined.
- add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.
- pour cake batter into prepared pie plate.
- as close together as possible, arrange strawberries in a single layer on top of batter, cut side down.
- sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
- bake cake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325°F, and continue to bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 to 60 minutes.
- let cake cool in pan on a rack.
- to serve, cut into wedges, and top with whipped cream infused with vanilla bean.
as mom would say, mmmmmmmmmmmm. enjoy!