One of my pet peeves is vegetarian cook books that bulk up their content with tons of recipes for desserts. Honestly, have you ever seen ground beef sorbet or pork loin cupcakes? Do we really need non-meat alternatives for dessert? Anyway, in that spirit, I don't want to overload this blog with dessert recipes, but sometimes I come across a recipe that I just need to share. I was looking for a way to use up the glut of strawberries I foolishly bought, and this turned out to be a great solution. The recipe comes from JoyOfBaking.com, and I changed very little about it. All I really did was leave out the walnuts because I wasn't in the mood for them.
You will need:
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and make sure the oven rack is in the middle. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a loaf pan. (Mine is an odd size -- 8.5 by 4.5 by 3 or something like that. Better than greasing and flouring the pan, use Baker's Joy spray. I love this stuff.)
Use a hand mixer to beat the butter in a large bowl until it's fluffy (about a minute). Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each is added. Beat in the vanilla extract.
In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in thirds and the yogurt in two parts, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until combined; otherwise, your batter will get tough.
Gently fold in the chopped strawberries with a spatula/rubber scraper. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour, or until the bread is golden brown and a cake tester stuck in the middle comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread to serve.
I like this recipe because the bread isn't overly sweet, and I think it would work well with other types of fruit, too. I'd like to try it with peaches before the summer's over, and I might try it with apples in the fall. I think if your fruit is particularly sweet or ripe, you could probably even cut the sugar down to 1/2 cup. Just make sure you mix the fruit into the batter evenly, or you'll end up with most of it on the bottom like I did. I kept half the loaf in the fridge for Bryan and me to enjoy this week and froze the other half for later. It's great warmed up with butter on top, but it's wonderful by itself too. I like it for breakfast!