We usually focus on savory recipes here, but I’m a former pastry cook, and I love dessert. On a weeknight, it could be as simple as some peeled citrus or cut melon, or a bowl of cold cherries. If people are coming over, it could be blueberries with very softly whipped cream sweetened with a little cane syrup (a stylish move I picked up from Dr. Jessica B. Harris), or a simple fruit crumble or cake.
Strawberries are everywhere in Los Angeles, so this past Sunday, I really went for it and baked Millie Peartree’s strawberry-lemon loaf cake using a cup or so of strawberries I’d forgotten about in the fridge, which had gone a bit soft. Too soft to snack on, but perfect for baking.
A commenter on the recipe suggested saving the strawberry syrup leftover from macerating the fruit to make the glaze, which I did, making up the difference with lemon juice until it became thin and shiny. I really liked that this cake didn’t require any special equipment. It came out tender but not too delicate, and still had a proper fruit flavor (plus lots of acidity from both the sour cream and the lemon).
Another great strawberry-lemon recipe for this time of year: the strawberry sorbet from Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, which involves every part of one entire lemon (except for the seeds) and happens to be vegan, too. And one of my favorite ways to have strawberries when they’re just too good to cook: a really classic strawberry Pavlova, like Nigella Lawson’s. (If you don’t have fancy balsamic vinegar to dress the fruit, you can use a little lemon zest and juice to season it instead.)
But if you don’t feel like following a recipe, don’t underestimate plain fruit. A bowl of good, in-season strawberries that you’ve simply washed and picked through, making sure they’re all ripe and clean, is its own kind of luxury.
Go to the recipe.
One More Thing!
You might remember, from last week, that I had too many lemons around. It’s a nice problem to have, though I’m grateful to everyone who shared their go-to recipes for helping me use up juice, zest and even the spent lemon halves, which still have flavor to give!
I usually toss my zested and squeezed lemon halves into the compost bin, but I can’t wait to try this spent-lemon syrup from Stella Parks that a reader suggested, which works a lot like this lemon cheong from Holly Ford, which another reader recommended.
More Veggie reader go-tos for lemons:
Beth Pierce’s iced lemon cookies
Julia Moskin’s lemon bars, Melissa Clark’s lemon-blueberry bars, Yossy Arefi’s lemon bars!
Honey-lemon marmalade from Marisa McClellan
Mary Constant’s lemon tart, aka Lazy Mary’s lemon tart
The lovely lemon cake from Odette Williams
Bill Smith’s Atlantic Beach pie
The lemon marmalade in “The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook” by Rachel Saunders
Melissa Clark’s pasta with fried lemons
Archana Mundhe’s lemon pickle from “The Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook”
Lemon and garlic confit from Rebecca Mastoris
Sabrina Ghayour’s quinoa with pistachios, preserved lemons and zucchini in “Persiana”
Heath Goldman’s homemade lemon concentrate for lemonade
Thanks for sharing, and thanks for reading. I’ll be away next week, and the one, the only, the Recipe Matchmaker herself, Tanya Sichinsky, who usually edits this newsletter, will be guest writing it. A treat!
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