Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Meals From the Market

I went to the farmer's market on Saturday and picked up a ton of local strawberries and fava beans. Those berries found their way into my yogurt, my oatmeal, salads and even fresh margaritas but I still had some more to devour so I made strawberry shortcake. To complement the perfect spring dessert, I made a simple fava bean pasta for our entree. I have to say, I was bored by the pasta. I put shallots and lemon zest and a generous splash of cream and yet still didn't achieve the understated elegance I was looking for. I blame it on the orecchiette from Whole Foods that I used, they had a gummy, almost slimy texture.

For the shortcake, I whipped some heavy cream and added a bit of sugar and lemon to my berries. I made little muffins using a recipe that is actually the base of a tres leches cake but I figured it would work here too.

1 cup flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
3 eggs, separated
3/4 c. sugar
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1/4 c. milk

Sift the dry ingredients together in one bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat the three egg whites with the sugar until soft peaks form. Begin adding the flour mixture to the egg whites, then the egg yolks, milk and lemon, alternating in between. don't overmix because you want to keep the airiness you created by whipping the egg whites. Pour into a cake pan that has been greased and floured and bake until lightly golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.

I made this recipe as mentioned above for a tres leches cake and it was okay. I made it again for the shortcake simply because I knew the proportions in my head and didn't have to look anything up. I'm not thrilled with the texture of the crumb with this cake, it's okay, but that might be my fault for using part white and part whole wheat flour. But I mean really, I could put strawberries and whipped cream on top of a shoe and eat it contentedly so if you can keep it easily in your head like I can, it's not a bad vehicle for other toppings. Although I think I will use this recipe next time.