Strawberries were on sale at Safeway the other day and I had to buy some even though they were a bit rough looking simply because it is Spring and I wanted berries. Of course once I got the berries I had to figure out what to do with them and I gave Chris several options including pie, cheesecake, shortcake, or pound cake. In the end Chris couldn't decide which left it up to me.
I considered my options for a while, but I kept coming back to a post I saw on Smitten Kitchen not to long ago where she made cream cheese pound cake and strawberry coulis. It looked, and sounded good, and I tend to trust Deb's instincts, so I decided to make that. However, I did not use the cream cheese pound cake recipe that Deb posted, instead I turned once again to my friend JB's cream cheese pound cake since it is amazingly good and quite easy too. (Remember this pound cake which is unique because you don't preheat the oven before baking it...)
The only problem I ran into, if you can call it a problem, is that I had lemons on my mind. I really wanted the sour lemon flavor to go along with my strawberries so I adapted the base pound cake recipe to get what I wanted by adding the zest of two lemons and a 1/8 of a teaspoon of lemon oil. I was a bit worried since I was adding acid to the cake, but the recipe has no leavening and I did not add any juice to thin it out, so it ended up working out well.
The whole experience of the lemon pound cake and strawberry coulis: fantastic.
For the Cake:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups cake flour (or all-purpose flour minus 6 tbsp)
If you want a lemon pound cake add the zest of two lemons when you cream the cream cheese, butter and sugar together and add an 1/8 of a teaspoon of lemon oil or extract when you add the vanilla.
*note -- do not preheat oven*
In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese, then the sugar. When smooth, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well before adding the next (2-3 minutes between each egg.) Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated. Gradually add the flour, mixing only until incorporated. Place the batter into a greased and floured tube or bundt pan. Place the pan into the COLD oven, set the oven to 325 and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cracked on top. The top of the finished cake will crack and separate a bit from the rest of the cake, but as JB points out, that's the best part so it's all good.
For the Strawberry Coulis
2 cups quartered hulled strawberries (about 12 ounces)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Combine strawberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in blender. Purée until very smooth, then press through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. (Deb strained it -- I did not because I don't mind seeds and I am lazy and didn't feel like messing with it) Cover and refrigerate until cold. Coulis can be prepared one day ahead.