Fun with strawberries 101. First thing- find sweet strawberries, I found mine at the Santa Rosa farmer’s market. Second thing-find an excuse to take some time to yourself for strawberry recipe development (very important!) Excuses could include, I’m sick, headache, cramps, backache etc…you get the idea. Third thing- when everybody is out of the house remove your ripe basket of strawberries from the fridge and, placing your nose over the top of the strawberries, breathe in deeply. Now, you are ready to have some fun with your fresh berries. Bakers ready for action will already have a stash of ingredients, like flour, sugar, butter, eggs and a few extras, like lavender or vanilla. Maybe, lock the doors-just in case.
I know this is crazy talk but sometimes it feels like there is precious little time to focus on doing the things, like baking, that we love. Especially on the weekends when there is so much going on to distract us from our ovens, recipe books, kitchens and our love of baking, I know I already said that but just really want to make that point.
I had this idea for an upside-down strawberry muffin which could be served as an individual sized upside-down cake for breakfast. I sprinkled the lavender sugar, which is easy to make at home, on the chopped strawberries and over the top of the muffins before baking. The lavender sugar topping comes out crunchy on the bottom and serves as a good contrast to the soft baked fruit on top of the upside-down muffins. I also like my addition of lime zest in the muffin batter which adds a brightness to the baked sweet strawberries on top.
I like taking photos of my baking projects, especially when they include strawberries! So, I think the fourth thing for strawberry fun 101 is to find a sunny corner in your house and snap a few pics, if for no other reason than to remind yourself of an afternoon well spent in the quiet of your own kitchen.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 1 cup strawberries chopped into small pieces
- For the Lavender Sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender
- 4 tablespoons organic cane sugar
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Spray 12 standard muffin silicone baking cups with baking spray and place on baking sheet.
- Make the lavender sugar by pulverizing the lavender and sugar in a food processor, sift to remove pieces of lavender buds, set aside.
- Sprinkle the strawberries with about 1 tablespoon lavender sugar, reserve the rest for the topping.
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and lime zest.
- Whisk in the milk and butter.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, being careful not to over mix. The flour should just disappear.
- Divide the strawberries into the baking cups, making sure they cover the bottom of each cup.
- Spoon the batter over the strawberries, making sure some batter reaches the bottoms of the muffin cups.
- Sprinkle the tops with the rest of the lavender sugar.
- Place in the oven and bake until lightly browned and firm to the touch.
- Cool the muffins on a metal rack, they should easily slide out of the cups.
- Serve slightly warm.