Strawberry season is here, and depending on your region of the country the season may be winding down or just getting started. In Kentucky, we are at the beginning of the season. Last week I was in Tennessee, a little farther South, and the season was in full swing. We ate mounds of sweet, delicious strawberries at my friend Pam’s beautiful lakehouse, and on my way home I picked up a bucket of fresh strawberries for myself.
Once home I wanted to try some new creations and these muffins were at the top of the list. My other friend Pam in Kentucky (confusing, I know) gave me a 1938 cookbook called The Household Searchlight Recipe Book. The Butter Cake recipe from that cookbook is the basis of the batter I created for these muffins. Between fresh strawberries and Butter Cake you really can’t go wrong. Thanks to the Pams this recipe was born.
As an aside on the old cookbook, the intro to the book notes, “The Household Searchlight is a service station conducted for the readers of The Household Magazine. In this seven-room house lives a family of specialists whose entire time is spent in working out the problems of homemaking common to every woman who finds herself responsible for the management of a home and the care of children.” I wonder what that “family” from 1938 looked like, and how different they would appear next to the families of today.
How wonderful to live in a time where we can all cook and sit down to share a meal together.
Yield: About 18 Muffins
2 Cups Strawberries, sliced
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
FOR MUFFIN MIX:
1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Butter, room temperature
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs, room temperature
2 Cups Cake Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
3/4 Cup Buttermilk, room temperature
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Raw Sugar, to sprinkle on tops
1. In a medium bowl combine fresh sliced Strawberries and 1/4 cup Sugar. Allow berries to sit and marinate in their own juices while you make the muffin batter.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl combine Butter and Sugar with an electric mixer until creamy, about 4 minutes. Add Eggs and beat until fluffy.
3. In a large bowl sift together Cake Flour, Baking Powder and Salt. Add Flour mixture to batter in 1/2 Cup scoops while continually mixing, alternate by adding 1/4 cup Buttermilk into batter at a time. Continue to mix, add more Flour, mix, add more Buttermilk, mix. Continue this process until all Flour and Buttermilk are added. Add Vanilla at the end, scrape down sides of bowl and give it one last mix.
4. Line a muffin pan with paper muffin cups. Scoop a couple tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup. Layer a couple tablespoons of fresh sugary Strawberries on top of batter. Add one last layer of batter on the top, about 1-2 tablespoons. Pour last bit of batter in the center of strawberries but don’t cover them completely. Batter will spread as it cooks and you want the strawberries to show a little. Sprinkle tops of muffins with Raw Sugar.
5. Place muffins in the oven and bake for about 20-23 minutes until they are a rich golden brown on top. Remember the centers will cook more slowly with the fresh fruit inside, so be sure not to under bake the muffins.
6. Remove muffins from the oven and allow to cool. Prepare next batch as directed above. Once muffins have cooled a little you can eat plain, or serve with a little whipped cream and strawberry juice (reserved from the bowl of strawberries you prepped with sugar). Pecans are a nice topping to add too. Eat up and Enjoy!