if you live in ontario, you know that we haven’t been having the best summer so far. we had a very depressing spring, with so much rain i thought i’d never be dry or tanned again; and so far this “summer” has only yielded 4 solid days and my tan from those days is already faded. solid days for me mean above 32 during the day, and a firm 25 degrees at night. i know most people find this uncomfortable, but you will never find me complaining about it being too hot or too humid – i live for that weather (i was 100% born in the wrong country).
while i wait for summer to start, i’ve at least been reaping the benefits of all of this rain in the form of beautiful ontario produce. pints of cutie ontario grown strawberries are popping up in grocery stores and farmers markets and it’s making me SO happy. as with basically all stone fruits (and all produce in general), in season strawberries are amazing. have you ever bought a pint of strawberries in the winter? it’s the worst. they’re hard and sour and taste nothing like what a strawberry should, and no matter how much sugar you marinate them in, still suck.
so, on one of the nicer days i had picked up some pretty little strawberries from the market, and of course, the next day it rained so i hid inside and baked this rye flour cake. it’s crumbly and not too sweet, studded with walnuts with a hint of tanginess from the greek yogurt that’s folded in at the end. rye is a whole grain flour that has a malty, nutty flavour and is super aromatic, which means your house will smell amazing as you bake this. i marinated my berries in sugar and balsamic for a day, which drew out some of the juice from the berries and created a delicious balsamic syrup, then topped it with a healthy serving of fresh whipped cream and ate it for lunch and breakfast.
rye flour cake & balsamic strawberries
*cake recipe adapted from heidi swanson’s cookbook near and far
rye flour cake
2 1/4 cups of rye flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 cup of walnut pieces
1 tablespoon of orange zest
3/4 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of honey
2 teaspoons of real vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup of full fat plain yogurt
1 pint local strawberries, sliced
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
do ahead: add strawberries, sugar and balsamic to a tupperware and shake gently. let rest in the fridge overnight.
make the cake: preheat your oven to 350 degrees and generously butter and flour a bundt pan and add the flour, seeds, and orange zest to a bowl.
add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a beater attachment and beat until light and fluffy. drizzle in the honey and vanilla extract, beating in slowly, then beat the eggs into the mixture, one at a time.
add half the flour mixture and half of the yogurt. fold to incorporate. add the rest of the flour and yogurt, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then gently fold until smooth.
transfer the batter to the prepared bundt and rap it against the counter (gently) to release any air bubbles. bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. let the cake sit for a few minutes before turning it out onto a baking rack.
serve with strawberries and fresh whipped cream, and top with the balsamic strawberry juices.