Strawberries have always been my favorite fruit. Maybe it’s because I was a strawberry blonde as a tot or because I have a strawberry birthmark on my shoulder that always made me feel like I’d be kissed by someone with strawberry-stained lips. Or maybe because my elementary school’s annual fundraiser was a strawberry festival, complete with the chance to win a 2 liter bottle of soda but, more importantly, to eat a piece of shortcake as big as your hand, covered in strawberries and a cloud of whipped cream.
Strawberries are also so precious because, like tomatoes, in-season and out-of-season makes them two entirely different experiences. That also means that I eat strawberries every day of May and June, before they disappear for another year. If I live to be 100, that’s only 100 strawberry seasons, which is seems like a tragedy.
Here’s how we’re eating strawberries today. This recipe is a riff on the Hard Cake recipe in Sarah E. Myers and Mary Beth Lind’s Recipes from the Old Mill: Baking with Whole Grains one of those cookbooks that I’ve used so much that it’s now held together with a rubber band.
- 1 c. white flour
- 1 c. whole wheat flour
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/3 c. shortening (If this isn’t something you have on hand, you can use softened butter but will get a slightly different texture)
- 1/2 c. + 2 Tbs. cold milk
- Heat oven to 350 degrees; grease a pie pan.
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Cut in shortening.
- Add milk, stirring just until moistened.
- Pat into the pie pan. Try not to handle the dough too much.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on size of pie pan.
Serve topped with sliced strawberries and milk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla ice cream, or–my favorite–sour cream with a little sugar stirred in. Call it dessert, or if you want to lie to yourself, breakfast.
This is a good recipe to make with kids because they can practice measuring without having to use a million different measuring cups or spoons, and they get to use a pastry blender, if you have one, which is a skill that other recipes we use with kids, like cookies and cake, don’t typically require. And patting it into the pan is fun since you get to get your hands.
Remember: Strawberries should never be refrigerated, so eat them they day you buy them. This is why we say that prayer “Give us this day, Lord, our daily strawberries” this whole month.