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Author Notes: I got a screaming deal on some beautiful strawberries at the Kenton farmers market last weekend. We ate most of them au naturel, but I decided to use the leftovers for this rustic dessert. This spoon cake is no-nonsense and so delicious. The balsamic vinegar-macerated strawberries create tart, syrupy pockets within the cake which balance out its sweetness, and the poppy seeds contribute a pleasing bit of crunch. Feel free to use whatever berries you have on hand! —Alexandra V. Jones
Food52 Review: I always make an effort to save room for dessert, as long as it’s not overly sweet -- which is why this recipe is perfect. The sweetness of the strawberries pairs perfectly with the acidity and tang of the balsamic. The poppy seeds add a very nice texture -- but if you’re not a fan, try substituting black pepper. —Jacqueline Filla
Balsamic Macerated Berries
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 pinch gray sea salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon gray sea salt
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Place berries in a bowl with vinegar, honey, and salt. Let macerate for 30 minutes.
- While berries are macerating, preheat the oven to 350° F. Place butter in a 9-inch pie tin, then place the tin in the oven. Once the butter melts and is starting to get a bit brown, take it out.
- Combine all other cake ingredients and stir well, mixture should be mostly lump free but this should all be done by hand, no need for a mixer. About forty good stirs. Pour cake batter into the pie tin containing the melted butter. Do not stir! Spoon berries and juices over the batter.
- Bake cake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold, topped with ice cream or whipped cream. Personally, I like it simply: with a light dusting of confectioners sugar.