I want to make an easy strawberry dessert ... but
January 23, 2023 2:12 PM   Subscribe

I keep seeing recipes that call for a cup (!) of butter (Strawberry Blondies), or they want you to do that thing where you cut up butter and rub it around in flour until it's either like meal or has pea-sized pieces of butter (yeah no, no rubbing around), or I feel doubtful if I have an appropriate pan size or type, or *something*. I just want something quick (prep-wise), easy, and forgiving, but also reasonably yummy.

I have what I think will be about 2 cups of fresh sliced strawberries. I have flour, eggs, butter, milk, cream, yogurt, flour, baking powder, baking soda, all the sugars, vanilla, most spices. I have a fairly deep ceramic pie pan, a shallower (maybe "standard"?) glass pie pan, a good 8x8x2 non-stick pan, a 9x13x2 pyrex casserole type, a good standard size nonstick loaf pan, and a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. I don't want to be pouring, flipping, stacking, and warming pancakes, or anything similar. I can make whipped cream.

I'd like to make something that requires a minimum of fiddling, and doesn't call for tons of butter or sugar. I mean it's dessert, so I'm not really looking for a diet recipe, but like a CUP of butter, two CUPS of sugar? No, please.

So, tl/dr: lazy non-baker seeks nice, forgiving, not extravagantly caloric recipe for about 2 cups (maybe a bit more, haven't sliced them yet) of strawberries. Something homey is fine, it's just for us two. Like, ideally, imagine that I spend about 10 minutes putting it together if the strawberries are already sliced, and it bakes while we watch Wednesday. :)
posted by taz to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Response by poster: oh, sorry, also I have lemons.
posted by taz at 2:14 PM on January 23


My dad used to make strawberry shortcake with drop biscuits (a little sugar sprinkled on top for extra sweetness), sliced strawberries in a little lemon juice and sugar, and whipped cream (no sugar, but a little vanilla). Really lovely. Sorry I don’t have a recipe handy, but my memory of making drop biscuits is pretty simple - sifting dry ingredients, maybe adding milk?, dropping spoonfuls of dough on a baking sheet. Would that appeal, or are you looking for something that could be assembled in advance?
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 2:18 PM on January 23 [9 favorites]


Eton Mess - strawberries, meringue, cream
posted by boudicca at 2:20 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


If I wanted to keep it simple I'd just make a basic coffee cake or crumble. You can make any kind of cake base you like really, and just shove strawberries into it. You can put strawberries in anything. It doesn't have to be a purpose-built strawberry thing.
posted by phunniemee at 2:21 PM on January 23 [5 favorites]


If you don't want to do biscuits and shortcake - which is what I'd do, personally - you could do a clafoutis variant with strawberries. Examples: random blog , claims to be Jacque Pepin's.
posted by cobaltnine at 2:23 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


If you're concerned about pea-gravel butter, are you using a pastry cutter?
posted by porpoise at 2:24 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


This cake from Smitten Kitchen is called Raspberry Buttermilk Cake, but quartered strawberries will work just as well. It's super easy and meets your butter/sugar criteria, I think.
posted by maayan at 2:25 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: The Smitten Kitchen recipe looks good! Which, if any, of my pans do you think might work instead of a 9-inch round cake pan? Maybe the 8x8 square and just don't use all the batter?
posted by taz at 2:33 PM on January 23


all you have to do for this one is have the butter room temp so you can mix it up the standard way. (honestly it's such a simple cake it would probably be fine melted if that's what you want to do.) ETA it's the same one as the raspberry one above but made with strawberries
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:35 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


I made this glazed strawberry bread last night. Skip the glaze (unless you have the ingredients) and follow the directions below the recipe re: substituting buttermilk. Having just made it, I’d say that I’d cut the strawberries to be bigger if I did it again (my chopping was more like dicing) and would include more strawberries. Good luck!
posted by kat518 at 2:37 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


use your 8X8. it's fine. they have the same volume capacity.
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:38 PM on January 23 [4 favorites]


Strawberries macerated with orange liquor and sugar (both to your taste and preferences) then mixed with whipped cream and a bit of sugar is one of my favorite things.

The longer they macerate the better. If you don't use or have orange liquor (triple sec, Grand Marnier, Cointreau) orange zest would probably be a perfectly good substitute.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:42 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Do you have a food processor? This makes the "rubbing butter into flour" thing easier.

But having a quick google around, what you want is some kind of cobbler. I have a look at a few recipes, figure out the common factors and go from there.

I'd probably put some sugar in the strawberries with a bit of lemon juice and zest, in the bottom of the deep dish, slop a cobbler topping across the top and bake.
posted by freethefeet at 2:42 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


...for reference for two cups of strawberries I would probably use two tablespoons of sugar and maybe four tablespoons of liquor for macerating, and then a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar in the whipped cream.

I don't think of it as very sugary and I'm not super into sugary things.

The longer it sits the more mileage you get out of both the sugar and the liqueur.

We referred to it as strawberries Romanoff as a kid. I found at least one recipe listing it as such but think it might be more of a technique for presenting fruit than a recipe per se.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:45 PM on January 23


Another vote for strawberry shortcake! Just wanted to point out that you can make cream biscuits to avoid the butter cutting business.

Biscuits:
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cream
2 tsp baking powder
Tablespoon sugar

Mix, drop 4 dough globs onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake 12-15 minutes or so at 400F. You can brush some cream and sprinkle sugar on top for more browning.

Then you just whip some cream, slice the biscuits, and pile macerated strawberries and whipped cream onto them.
posted by yarrow at 2:47 PM on January 23 [4 favorites]


Seconding Smitten Kitchen's strawberry summer cake. So easy and so delicious that we once went ahead and ate half of one anyway after our naughty dog got into it while it was cooling on the counter.
posted by fancypants at 2:52 PM on January 23 [6 favorites]


I’ll just say that every smitten kitchen recipe has gone right for me. Never any issues in going from theory to practice, so any choice is a good one.

And yes, an 8x8 pan is totally fine. If the batter gets higher than 2/3s or so I would just hold back any more batter
posted by raccoon409 at 3:34 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


I saved but did not make these recipes (gift links) though the reviews in the notes are positive:

For a soft and fast cake that can be mixed by hand, not too much butter or sugar (though to be fair it is 4 servings and not a more typical 10-12 servings for much more butter and sugar), use your 8x8 pan and serve with unsweetened hand-whipped cream instead of ice cream if you don't want to shop:

Strawberry Spoon Cake

For a crunchier and not-as-fast cake that requires a hand mixer, with 8-10 servings (so more butter and sugar than above), use your 8x8 (same as a 9" round), for the buttermilk, squeeze about 1 T of lemon juice into a measuring cup then fill up to 3/4 c, let sit while you get out all the other ingredients and stir before using, use brown for demerara if that is not one of all your sugars. You can mix as described in the recipe ... or just mix all the liquids in a bowl with hand mixer, then mix in the small dry ingredients (baking sodas and salt), then add the flour in a few batches and don't overmix:

Strawberry Cake
posted by RoadScholar at 4:08 PM on January 23


I haven’t made this particular recipe, but your question immediately made me think of clafoutis, and everything I’ve made from smitten kitchen has been at best fantastic and at worst really good.
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 4:09 PM on January 23


These all sound fantastic. I am contributing a buckle cake: I make the one from the joy of cooking, but it’s a basic cake with fruit mixed in, and topped with streusel (flour, butter, cinnamon). The version I use is a nectarine blueberry buckle, but I sub 2 cups of any fruit, and any berry is great.

If they are fresh tasty berries, I will also second marinating in grand marnier and sugar (or any tasty liquor) and eating straight or with cream. Mmm….
posted by Valancy Rachel at 4:49 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Your recipe doesn't actually specify baked, so may I suggest something like this strawberry panna cotta? (I haven't tried this particular recipe, but you get the idea.) You could also just make plain panna cotta and a coulis out of the strawberries to drizzle over, along with a few whole ones.
posted by praemunire at 4:50 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Just slice 'em and drizzle 'em with balsamic vinegar.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:22 PM on January 23


balsamic vinegar

the naturally aged kind, that's more of a syrup and isn't acidic/ sour nearly at all.

Hell, it goes with anything. Vanilla Ice Cream.
posted by porpoise at 8:48 PM on January 23


I made this No-Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake for a summer potluck one time and it was easily one of the most complimented potluck dishes I'd ever stumbled upon. And it's definitely easy! You'd have to obtain graham crackers but you also wouldn't have to bake anything.
posted by macfly at 9:13 PM on January 23


Nthing that you definitely want the Smitten Kitchen Strawberry Summer Cake!
posted by artisthatithaca at 12:25 AM on January 24


My friend timed me whipping some cream the other day. It took 3 minutes and 15 seconds.

Do that, put it in a bowl next to the strawberries, and go to town. Sugar optional.

Strawberries and cream (or peaches and cream) is a thing for a reason. A very, very, very good and delicious reason. Seriously; try it, and then you'll know that you've lived.
posted by amtho at 1:02 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


If you can pick up an angel food cake at the grocery store, you can do: angel food cake covered in whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

If you want to do one more step, start by cutting up the strawberries and tossing them in a closed container with a little sugar - that will release the juices, and also help them keep better. Also, if they're a little sour, the extra sugar tastes good.
posted by amtho at 1:04 AM on January 24


My very lazy thing to do with strawberries: slice them up, sprinkle on a little salt and pepper, drizzle honey over them and warm them a bit in the microwave.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:29 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Did I miss the strawberry boat? If not, I highly recommend this recipe for Strawberry Cream on Shortbread from King Arthur Flour. While it is 2 steps (shortbread, cream), it's very simple, and whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts. For 2 people, I might go with a half-batch in a loaf pan, which I have done successfully. (I line the pan with parchment, so I can lift the entire thing out after, for a slightly nicer presentation, but it's lovely regardless).
posted by BekahVee at 10:39 AM on January 25


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