Sunday, April 19, 2009

Just a few of the reasons I love Spring...

1. Everything is blooming.

2. Herbs can be found fresh in the backyard.

3. 80 Degrees and not a cloud in the sky!

4. Strawberries!

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'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.

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
2 Eggs
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.

Strawberry-Lemon Glaze
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.
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?


Donna-FFW said...

This sounds terrific ..and it looks fantastic! I like your ideas of muffins and adding lime next time.. YUM!

Grace said...

where to begin? that's a mega-strawberry, your bread looks luscious (excellent glaze selection), and the flowers are lovely. hello spring!

Katherine Aucoin said...

That bread looks wonderful. I haven't cooked with rubarb before. I'm going to have to give this a try!

Anonymous said...

A strawberry-rhubarb bread? OMG, I must make that right away! That sounds so wonderful!

Reeni♥ said...

I remember those long, hot summers from when I lived in Tucson! I've never eaten rhubarb. I am seeing it everywhere. Your bread looks yummy!

Christine aka Mistress of Cakes said... me some rhubarb. Do you realize I am still the Mistress of Cakes in your blogroll? That site is gone...*sobs quietly*

Hornsfan said...

Donna - the lime made me think of a Sonic Cherry-Limeade, so it'll have to be attempted!
Grace - Thanks!
Katherine - Rhubarb is great, it adds a terrific tartness with the strawberry!
5 Star - Thanks! It's disappearing very very quickly here so I can tell you it's pretty tasty!
Reeni - It's absolutely worth a try, a great crumble, or pie...either way it's good stuff!
Christine - I'm so embarrassed! I'm not sure why you're showing up with the old site (which I miss!), I'm only following the new one...the mysteries of blogger...

Tangled Noodle said...

Ooooo! Love that bread - I've got the rhubarb but local strawberries are still several weeks away. In fact, everything in MN is about a month behind TX so we still have a bit of the cool weather lingering! But I'm patient . . .