1. Everything is blooming.
2. Herbs can be found fresh in the backyard.
3. 80 Degrees and not a cloud in the sky!
5. Did I mention 80 Degrees?
Spring in Texas is a neat thing, it's short, beautiful, fleeting and what you wish summer felt like. In Central Texas the high is typically 75-85 degrees, it's breezy and cool and perfect weather to enjoy a cool glass of iced tea on the porch. In July you wish for that 85 degree high, and then you step out into the sauna that is 90 degrees at 7AM and wish for winter...it's funny, our weather is very schizophrenic during certain seasons (spring included) but it's pretty much a certainty that summer is hot as hell and that it lasts from mid-May through mid-October (that's right almost 5 months!). Don't get me wrong, I love it here, wouldn't trade it for the world but it's important not to delude people, it's hot here!
In honor of spring (and the fact that strawberries have been delicious and dirt cheap for the last few weeks), I picked up strawberries and then searched three grocery-stores for fresh rhubarb (which I was not lucky enough to find, had to settle for frozen)! I came home, poured a glass of tea and sat on the patio contemplating how to use my red ingredients and settled on Strawberry-Lemon Glazed Strawberry Rhubarb Bread.
1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Zest
1 1/2 Cup Halved Strawberries
3/4 Cup Frozen Rhubarb
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9x5 loaf pan (or two 3x8 pans).
2. Heat frozen rhubarb in a microwave safe bowl for a minute in the microwave, allow it to cool for a minute, then place in blender with strawberry halves and puree.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, soda, salt and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon zest, eggs, strawberries/rhubarb puree, and vegetable oil. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, whisking until well blended.
4. Pour batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes for 9x5 pan or 40-45 minutes for 3x8 pans, until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
8oz Frozen Strawberries
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Lemon (Zest and Juice will be used)
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
3 Tbsp Water
While the bread is baking, make the strawberry glaze.
1. Combine the sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon zest and strawberries in a saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar into the liquid while bringing it up to a boil.
2. Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about ten minutes. When the strawberries get soft enough, break them in half with a spoon to help release more flavor from the strawberries.
3. Remove from then heat and strain the liquid from the strawberries. Press on the solids to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Return the liquid (not strawberries) to the pan.
4. Bring the liquid back up to a simmer. Whisk 3 tablespoons of water into the cornstarch and then pour it into the simmering liquid.
5. Increase heat and whisk until the glaze comes to boil. Continue to whisk while the glaze boils and thickens, about 5 minutes. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.
6. Once glaze has cooled, pour over tops of bread loaf/loaves.
First go round on this was pretty successful, I like it, my boyfriend (the self-professed strawberry addict) liked it, next time, I'm thinking lime instead of lemon and maybe muffins?
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