Endless Strawberries

A couple of months ago I stumbled upon a recipe for strawberry loaf and was immediately intrigued. It just kind of looked "happy". You could see the bright red strawberries peeking out from the loaf. I saw it and just rather immediately wanted to make it ... and then never got around to buying strawberries. I would see them at Whole Foods - but the idea of spending $4.99 on a container and it being a potential disaster prevented me from pulling the trigger.

On Friday I was walking home from work and brainstorming what I wanted to bake this weekend. I have all the ingredients for a few things currently - including boeuf bourguignon. But, my walk home takes me through the legendary Haymarket Market where a good deal can be had on produce. It's how I ended up with a whole bunch of tomatoes, broccoli, and leeks on several occasions. This week, it was a lot of strawberries. And by a lot, I mean 4 pounds of them. Normal Friday stuff folks. For future reference, 4 pounds of strawberries will translate to 2 giant loaves of strawberry loaf and about 2 cups of jam.


Here's how it goes.

Strawberry Loaf
By nature of the title you can get the gist that this is a dense recipe, that's what "loaf" means. It doesn't mean light and airy. The piles of strawberries make the bread very moist and like a great snack for pretty much any time of day. I reduced the sugar in the original recipe by half and substituted in a bit of honey for fun. The end result is better than I expected. 
Also, all of these pictures are of the loaf ... without baking powder... because I completely forgot to add it in. Dummy. I was convinced this was going to be a waste but it turned out fine. 
(Step 1) Heat oven to 350°. Grease 2 (9"x5" x 2¾") loaf pans and set aside. Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.

(Step 2) In a separate bowl, whisk sugar, oil, and eggs. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Stir in strawberries and pour batter into prepared pans. 

(Step 3) Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaves comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Strawberry Jam
I'm beginning to think you can make jam out of pretty much anything at this point... tomatoes, bacon, strawberries. I'm not much of a jam person myself but I know that my sister loves it. Jam is by far one of the easiest things in the world to make. It's almost embarrassing. In addition to being easy, it's also fast.
(Step 1) Combine strawberries and sugar in a large heavy skillet. 

(Step 2) Stir in grated Granny Smith apple. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring and breaking up strawberries, until sugar dissolves. 

(Step 3) Simmer until jam is thickened, 10–15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.

(Step 4) Transfer to a bowl or jar; let cool. Cover and chill until set, about 2 hours. Keep chilled; serve within 2 weeks.

Shopping List
Jam
1 pound fresh (or frozen, thawed) strawberries, hulled and quartered
2/3 cup sugar
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Loaf Bread
3 cups of flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinammon
4 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 1/4 cup of canola oil

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