Easy Strawberry and Mulberry Teacake Recipe with Berry Compote

Strawberry and Mulberr eacake with Berry Compote and Icecream

Strawberry and Mulberry Teacake with Berry Compote and Ice Cream

“You’ve got this life and while you’ve got it, you’d better kiss like you only have one moment, try to hold someone’s hand like you will never get another chance to, look into people’s eyes like they’re the last you’ll ever see, watch someone sleeping like there’s no time left, jump if you feel like jumping, run if you feel like running, play music in your head when there is none, and eat cake like it’s the only one left in the world!” 
― C. JoyBell C.

I don’t need much of an excuse to bake a cake. And now, while the mulberry tree is weighted down with dark sweet fruit, and my heritage strawberries are dripping berries, it seems only sensible to include them in my baking.

This cake can be made and eaten as a tea cake – it’s dense and buttery and not too sweet, making it wonderful for afternoon tea. If you like you could have it sliced with a scrape of butter, or get a little fancy and drizzle some lemony icing over the top. It’s equally delicious warm or cold.

Don’t panic if you’re not much of a baker – this recipe is dead easy.

I chose to bake my cake in the afternoon and let it cool for dinner, then served it with a simple warm berry compote and vanilla ice-cream. You have no idea how much willpower it took to not taste a corner while it was cooling.

There was plenty for the next day too. Leftovers always make me happy! Just remember to refrigerate any cake you don’t eat, as the soft berries mean the cake will only keep for three to four days.

If you don’t have access to fresh berries, frozen ones will work just fine. And the combination is really up to you. I’m just using strawberries and mulberries because that’s what’s ripe at my farm right now.

Serving up dessert at my low-key kitchen table dinner with the neighbours.

Serving up dessert at my low-key kitchen table dinner with the neighbours.

Cake Ingredients:

70g x (5 tablespoons) softened butter, 2 x teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 x egg, 1/2 x cup sugar, 1 x cup self raising (self-rising for my USA friends or 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 x teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt, sifted together), 1/3 cup plain yogurt, 2 cups of berries, grated zest of one lemon.  1 x bundt pan well greased with butter or 1 x 20cm round cake tin, paper lined.

*Note: This cake also bakes up well using a commercially prepared gluten-free flour mix.

Method:

Preheat oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit). Prepare your cake tin.

Wash berries, remove any hulls or stems and drain well. (I pat mine dry in paper towel.)

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Strawberries and mulberries from the garden!

Place butter and sugar in bowl and beat until thick and creamy (about 2 minutes). Then add in the egg, lemon zest, vanilla and beat again until thick and well combined. I use an electric mixer for this first part.

Fold through the yoghurt and flour with a spoon. Then gently fold in the berries.

Pretty cake batter ready for the pan

Pretty cake batter ready for the pan

Then carefully dollop your cake batter into your prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.

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I love how the creamy batter is streaked pink and purple from the berry juices.

Place in the preheated oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.  Check your cake by poking  a skewer into the centre at 25 minutes. If it comes out clean it is ready. Leave in a little longer if batter still clings to skewer.

Cool in tin for five minutes, then give it a shake to loosen it and invert onto a serving plate. There might be a few gooey soft berries on the top of the cake, which is part of its rustic charm.

The finished cake, cooling on my windowsill.

The finished cake, cooling on my windowsill.

Compote Ingredients:

2 heaped cups of berries, 2 tablespoons of icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar), 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

Method:

Place the berries, sugar and lemon juice on a saucepan over low heat. Squash the berries slightly with a potato masher to release some of the juice.

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Blurry action shot of the berries being smashed up to make them juicy.

Heat until the berries become syrupy – which takes just a minute or two. Serve over the sliced cake.

This compote is also delicious over porridge, ice cream, pancakes or waffles. Enjoy!

Did I mention yummy? Yummy!

Did I mention yummy? Yummy!

Rustic Strawberry Tart Recipe

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“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”

~ Salvador Dalí

 

Strawberry tarts – so pretty, so tasty, and so easy to make!

Just before I left the farm to go to the city last week I picked a bucket of fresh strawberries. They were sweet and luscious, and Bert the dog and I ate almost as many as we collected.

Once we arrived in the city we soon had our fill of strawberries straight up, or in smoothies. So I decided to use some of them to make a tart.

I know my pastry recipe off by heart, and a pastry cream recipe too – simple recipes I mastered back in my college days. The ingredients were all in my pantry or fridge. What could be so hard about a strawberry tart?

A few things… I don’t spend much time in the city anymore, so I didn’t have a pie dish, a flan dish or anything else suitable for baking a pie in. And no rolling pin for my pastry. No matter. The joy of anything ‘rustic’ is the ability to improvise.

I found a baking sheet, a few bowls, a saucepan and a full wine bottle to use as a rolling pin. Easy!

This Strawberry Tart is a simple combination of pastry, filling and fruit. I’ll give you a few variations, so you can rustle something up to suit your kitchen, your mood and your energy levels.

Totally Easy ‘Throw It All Together’ Strawberry Tart

If you want the ultimate easy dessert buy a ready-made pastry shell, and then use whipped cream or thick custard for the filling.  You could even use chocolate mousse or lemon curd. Slice your strawberries and arrange over the top of the pie. If you can be bothered heat a little strawberry or apricot jam and brush over the fruit for a nice glossy finish.

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Totally Easy Homemade Strawberry Tart

Pastry:

1 and 1/2 cups plain flour, 125 grams (1/2 cup) butter, 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon icing sugar (confectioners sugar), 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water. PS * finely grated lemon zest if you like your crust a little zesty!

Cut butter into small cubes. Sift sugar and flour into a bowl and then rub butter through with fingertips until it forms fine crumbs. OR process in short bursts in food processor until fine crumbs are formed. Add egg yolk and enough water for pastry to come together into a ball. Do not overmix. The dough should just come together.

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I had no food processor so did the pastry by hand.

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Turn out onto a floured board and pat out into a round.  Wrap in plastic and place in fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Roll chilled pastry between two sheets of baking paper until large enough to line a tart tin. Because I didn’t have a tin I used a bowl to make an approximation and placed my pastry directly onto the baking sheet. I then used the extra dough to build up some sides. Truly, if you have a pie shell or tart tin use it! But if you don’t, throw caution to the wind and get a little messy. Your tart will still taste fantastic. 🙂

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Prick base all over with a fork. Place into fridge or freezer for 30 minutes to harden the pastry. If you are using a pie shell place a sheet of baking paper on top of the pastry and pour in some rice or dried beans so you can blind bake the case. This keeps the pie shell even and not too risen.

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If you’re doing a spot of rustic baking like me, don’t bother.  Just chuck it in the oven!

Bake for ten minutes if blind baking, then remove beans and paper and cook for another ten minutes until golden brown.

If rustic baking, bake for twenty minutes until golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

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Pastry Cream:

Pastry cream is a thick smooth custard. It’s easy to make, and a delicious pie filling. It can also be used to fill choux pastry, eclairs and many other delicacies.

2 cups milk, 3 tablespoons of sugar plus 4 tablespoons of sugar, 2 egg yolks and 1 egg, 1/4 cup of cornflour, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Note: Adjust sugar levels to suit your own taste.  This recipe also works well with Natvia in place of sugar.

Whisk eggs, cornflour and 4 tablespoons of sugar together in a large bowl so no lumps remain. Set aside.

Place the milk and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a large saucepan and heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Do not bring the milk to a boil but make sure it is quite warm. Pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking thoroughly and then return to saucepan. Keep stirring over medium heat until it boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla and stir well.  Cool slightly and then spoon into pie shell. Keep any remaining pastry cream in fridge, covered with plastic.

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Strawberry Topping

Slice one to 2 cups of strawberries and arrange on top of your pie shell. Warm a few tablespoons of apricot or strawberry jam and brush or spoon over fruit to cover.  This gives your tart a lovely glossy appearance and helps keep the cut fruit fresh.

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Eats well on its own but would also be delicious with a good ice-cream or some fresh cream.

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Healthy Breakfast Parfait Recipe

I love this raw food recipe as it can be assembled ahead of time, and makes a tasty breakfast, healthy dessert or a great ‘anytime’ snack. It is a simple combination of bircher muesli and fresh seasonal fruit, but the combination of flavours is a real winner!

Kids love to make and eat this dish, so get them into the kitchen for this one.

It can also be made vegan and dairy-free, by choosing an appropriate yoghurt. Use a low fat yoghurt if you are detoxing, losing weight or looking after your liver. This can also be made sugar-free by choosing sugar-free muesli or using plain rolled oats, and a yoghurt that is also sugar free.

Ingredients:

1 cup of sliced fresh strawberries, or your favourite seasonal fruit

1 cup of unsweetened apple juice – freshly pressed if possible (you could also substitute water, other juice, or any kind of milk) I used organic Pink Lady apples, and they are divine.

1 cup of yoghurt of your choice (Put some love into your yoghurt choice – it makes all the difference to the flavour and texture. I’m using a sugar-free coconut yoghurt.  For vegans, and people with dairy intolerance coconut yoghurt is the bomb! Soy yoghurt works beautifully too.)

1 cup of raw muesli or plain old raw rolled oats!

Optional – 2 tablespoons of mixed seeds such as chia, sunflower, linseed etc. I’m using Kapai Puku.

Method:

Juice your apple/s to make one cup of fresh juice. Don’t you love the pretty pink colour of this Pink Lady apple juice? It certainly lived up to its name.

Place the muesli or oats into a bowl and add the apple juice, stirring gently to combine.  Let this sit for a minute or so while you wash and drain your strawberries.

Now add your yoghurt to the oat mixture and stir through.  Dump in the seed mix if you are using it, stir again, cover and let sit for one hour so that the oats and seeds swell and absorb the extra liquid. If you live in a warm climate, place your mixture in the fridge.

Dice up your strawberries (or other seasonal fruit). Add a layer to the bottom of a glass. Stir your oat mixture, which will now be thick, and dollop a spoonful in, pressing down well.  Continue to layer the bircher muesli and fruit until you get to the top of the glass. This can now be returned to the fridge for a few hours, or overnight. It improves with a little extra time for the flavours to amalgamate, but hey, if you ate it straight away it would still be delicious.  Enjoy! ♥

PS. Variations:

A friend on facebook just prompted me to remember some sensational variations on this little parfait recipe, that I thought I’d share.

1. Decadent Parfait (Suitable for a dinner party) – substitute cream for the yoghurt, and add a heaped spoonful of raw cacao powder and a dollop of honey or agave. This gives you a heavenly chocolate strawberry dessert! Of course you could always just throw in the cacao and honey (if needed)  and have yourself a choc-berry parfait for breakfast. Hooray!

2.  Green Parfait (Healthy as anything) To your oat mixture add a heaped spoonful of spirulina powder and a spoonful of blackstrap molasses. That will turn your bircher muesli green, but in the best of ways, and the taste is still creamy and delicious, with all the extra nutritional benefits of these superfoods.