That's right. I refuse to believe that the time for juicy, tasty strawberries is over. Even though I can see with my own two eyes the boxes containing 20% molding and festering berries, 15% yellowed and nowhere near deep-red berries, and 45% flavorless berries, I'll deny that it's not worth a couple of bucks for that last 20%.
Those 5 berries are great.
There will come a time, though, when there are no berries at all to be had. At that point, I'll express my gratitude for the strawberry jam and strawberry pie filling that's sitting atop my shelves right now. I like apples and pears and other autumn and winter fruits (as evidenced here), but they just don't hold the same appeal as strawberries.
As far as I'm concerned, this is another super-successful cupcake creation. The cupcakes themselves are soft and flavorful--you've done it again, Martha! The sweet, oozing pie filling is a happy surprise and the subtle strawberry taste in the frosting is just right to finish. These aren't the neatest of all cupcakes, that's for sure--you might want to don a bib, or at the very least, be prepared to have strawberry goo running down your chin.
Almost Season-free Strawberry Cupcakes
(from Ms. Stewart--you know it!)
(makes a mega-batch of 34)
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour, sifted (not self-rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups finely chopped strawberries
strawberry pie filling, either homemade or bought
2 cups (16 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk flours, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and white, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
Reduce speed to low. Combine milk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Fold in chopped strawberries. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
To make the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy. Add vanilla and jam, and beat until frosting is smooth.
To fill the cupcakes, carve out a cone-shaped hole (and immediately eat the cone)(after adding frosting to it, of course) and carefully spoon the pie filling inside. Apply frosting generously to cupcakes and devour.