I know, I know; again with the strawberries. They’re taking over the yard and the fridge! Not only did they cause me to make an exception for my no-big-pieces-of-meat rule, they’ve now caused me to bake, which regular readers know is not really my bag. But this was pretty darn easy, even for me, and the taste payoff is big. The sweet cake really highlights the tartness of the berries, making it perfect for coffee time or dessert time. It’s almost like a clafoutis; really soft and moist, almost like it’s mixed with custard, but with the structure of a sponge cake. It’s delicious the next day, too, although I admit I can’t attest to the day after that. (And let’s be honest, will you ever need to know?)
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen. It makes about 6 polite-sized servings. Leftovers can be stored covered at room temperature or in the fridge.
• 6 T butter: 36 cents
• 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and halved (garden): $0
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour: 15 cents
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder: 5 cents
• 1/2 tsp table salt: 1 cent
• 1 cup plus 2 T granulated sugar: 30 cents
• 1 egg (garden): $0
• 1/2 cup milk: 8 cents
• 1 tsp vanilla extract: 10 cents
• Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)*: 5 cents
TOTAL: $1.10/6 = 18 cents/serving
*Did you know you can make powdered sugar by grinding plain ol’ granulated sugar in a spice grinder or small processor? Now you do.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch cake pan (I had to use a springform pan, but it worked fine).
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl with a hand-held mixer) beat the butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture gradually, just until combined. (I usually get paranoid and remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold it in myself.)
Pour into the pie pan. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, in a single layer. (I had to overlap quite a few pieces to get them to fit, and it turned out fine.) Sprinkle top with remaining 2 T granulated sugar.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 F and bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, a little over an hour. Cool before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.