Strawberry Shortcake Loaf

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More like an angel food or sponge cake than a shortcake, this super-easy light, loaf is a perfect summer dessert showcasing our delicious Lepp Farm-grown strawberries.

Did you know that we grow two types of strawberries?  If you’re as old as I am, then you probably remember when we only had BC strawberries for a few short weeks in early June and recent summers may have left you scratching your head as you stood in the market in late August, September and even into October, pondering the sign proclaiming “local strawberries”.  The Albion, or “ever-bearing” strawberries, are fairly new to the Fraser Valley and produce the first flush of strawberries that appear in the market, and then take a break to rest for a bit.  This is usually when June-bearing strawberries appear for their short 1 month season, before the ever-bearing start up again in early July. So depending on when in the summer you’re picking up strawberries from the market, you’ll notice some differences between the two!
The June-bearing strawberries are a softer berry, which makes them great for baking because they break down easier.
Now that we’re back into the ever-bearing variety, you’ll find that the strawberries we’re growing are a much firmer berry. They hold up really well in salads, great for eating fresh, but are still versatile enough to use in jams, pies, or this wonderfully light strawberry shortcake loaf.

So, back to this Strawberry Loaf!

 

 

All it needs is a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkling of icing sugar for a beautiful presentation. I would definitely recommend lining the loaf pan with a sheet of parchment paper as then removing it from the pan is a pain-free process. This would be lovely with any summer fruit such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or our very own Orchard-grown peaches.

Ingredients

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour (100 gm)

1 tsp. vanilla

5 oz.fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered. Resist the urge to add more fruit as it will weigh down the delicate batter. You can always add extra fruit as a garnish!  

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a loaf pan (I used a 4×10-inch, so a 9×5-inch should work just fine) and line with a sheet of parchment paper that overhangs the sides by a couple of inches. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs on low speed until foamy. Increase speed of mixer one notch and slowly add the sugar, until it has all been added.  Increase speed of mixer to high and whisk until mixture is light and tripled in volume – 8-10 minutes. (don’t skimp on the mixing time part!) Add vanilla in last minute of mixing.
  3. Remove bowl from mixer (if using). Using a sifter or fine strainer, sift the flour over the top of the batter and gently fold into the batter until it is just incorporated.  It’s best to do this in two steps, using half the flour at a time as it ensures the flour all gets evenly mixed into the batter.  
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle prepared strawberries evenly over the top.  Some berries will naturally sink into the delicate batter during the baking process.  
  5. Place in pre-heated oven and bake 30-35 minutes until top is deep golden and a tester comes out clean.  Avoid opening the oven door for the first 25 minutes or so of baking.  
  6. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then run a knife along short ends and gently lift the loaf from the pan using the parchment overhang. Allow to cool completely. To serve, dust loaf with powdered sugar and serve in slices with a dollop of whipped cream.

 

Recipe courtesy of seasonsandsuppers.ca