Early June is one of my favorite times of the year; the days are sunny and not too hot and best of all it’s time to pick the sweet and full of flavor organic strawberries from Thompson-Finch Farm in Ancramdale, New York!
I sit cross legged on the ground and as a fresh cool breeze washes over me, I look around and I am completely content. As I pick, I listen to the happy voices of people in the surrounding rows discussing what they plan to do with their bounty; strawberry jam and scones, chocolate mousse with strawberries and I start to concoct my own recipes. I am thinking of a coffee cake with apple, strawberries and a ginger crumb topping.
There are so many berries that in less than 40 minutes I pick over 9 pounds!
After picking strawberries, I returned home and thought that I had just enough time to make the tea cake before my haircut appointment. And, here the saga of the under baked tea cake begins!
I realized after I put the cake in the oven that there was no way the cake was going to be done before I needed to leave. I asked the hair dresser if there was any wiggle room in their schedule; not an option. I decided to take the half baked cake out of the oven and then see if I could finish baking it later. I can report that this did not work very well- the double baked cake had a strange heavy gluey texture and when I cut it, the cake crumbled and looked ugly and misshapen; a real cooking disaster!
I thought that maybe I could gather it all up and make a bread pudding out of it. But, somehow the cake tasted delicious and it disappeared before it could be transformed into a pudding! I baked the cake again a few days later and can say with confidence, this recipe works if baked properly- see picture below!! This is not a sweet cake and it is perfect with yogurt and fruit for breakfast!
Apple Strawberry Ginger Crumble Tea Cake
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup monk fruit sweetener
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup soy or almond milk
1/2 cup thinly sliced apple
1/2 cup thinly sliced strawberries
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 cup toasted pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup kefir
Place oats, flour, coconut sugar, pecans, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until nuts are in small pieces. Add kefir and pulse until mixture forms small clumps- you may need to add a bit more kefir. Add small bits at a time. Set mixture aside.
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees
Line a 5×9 loaf pan with parchment paper with the paper hanging over the sides. Butter the paper lightly.
To make cake batter:
In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, monk fruit sweetener, coconut sugar and cinnamon.
Add egg, vanilla, canola oil, soy or almond milk and mix together just until the batter is smooth. Add fruit and stir to combine.
Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and then scatter the crumb topping over the top. Bake in the pre heated oven for about 15 minutes and then cover the top loosely with foil so the top will not brown too quickly. Bake for about an hour until a toothpick comes out cleanly.
Remove from oven. Lift cake out of pan leaving paper on the cake. Let cool completely on a rack before slicing with a serrated bread knife. This is a very soft crumbly cake, the longer you let it cool the easier it is to slice. This is hard to do, so enjoy the first very crumbly pieces if you can’t wait!
AND: Here is the “Tree of the Week”