12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup poppy seeds
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
5 cups strawberries, stemmed and quartered
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons basil, chopped fine
This strawberry shortcake-inspired dish is an homage to retro desserts with a gourmet twist. If you’re looking for something more rich, then serve with whipped or ice cream.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and 1 cup sugar on medium for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down batter so it’s evenly mixed. Add vanilla and lemon zest and mix for an additional 30 seconds.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add poppy seeds, and mix. Add 1/3 of dry ingredients to butter and sugar mixture, and mix until just combined. Add half of milk and mix. Repeat alternating ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined.
Grease an 8-inch rectangular loaf pan, and line with parchment paper. Grease pan again. Place batter in pan, and bake in oven for 45 minutes, until tops are light brown and cake tester comes out clean. In a small saucepan, cook lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar until sugar has completely dissolved. Evenly pour lemon and sugar mixture from saucepan over cake. Allow to sit for 1 hour.
In a large bowl, mix strawberries, sugar, vinegar, and basil and allow mixture to sit for 10–15 minutes before serving. Cut into slices, and serve with strawberries.