Sunday

Ina Garten's Strawberry Country Cake

I love this simple cake and I only make it when the strawberries at my market are bright red and large.  It's such an easy cake and it looks so pretty, when you get those extra large, ripe, very red strawberries.  So yesterday,  I was at the market looking for fresh produce and saw the perfect strawberries from California.  I felt like I struck gold......

Your family and friends will thank you and think you have spent the entire day in the kitchen. Only you haven't, but that can be our little secret....

The only change I make it to fan the strawberries on top.  I feel it makes such a pretty presentation and it's not hard at all.  Again, it's the large, juicy strawberries that are the star of this recipe.

To fan the strawberries, you place one on your cutting board and cut the strawberry just like you were going to slice it, but leave just a tiny part of the top not sliced.  Use the stem as your guide.  Once you have sliced the strawberry, place your palm  over the strawberry and press down gently to flatten and it will fan out.  I used three for the top on this cake, but mine were very large.  So you may need four.

And to serve it, I just cooked down 1/2 pint of sliced strawberries with 1/4 cup of cranberry juice, 2 Tablespoons of sugar and the zest of one orange.  Cook on medium low for 4-6 minutes.  Take pan off the heat and let cool.  I mashed mine down fine with my potato masher, or you could use your blender.  It's nice to place a spoonful of sauce on top of, or to the side of the cake.  If you want to get fancy, take a large tablespoon of sauce on the outside of a plate.  Take the tip of the spoon or a thin spatula and drag a stream of the sauce in a circular pattern.  It should almost look like the number 6 on the outside of the plate.  Then place your cake on the plate.  ;)


Here's a linke to Ina's recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/strawberry-country-cake-recipe/index.html




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