So, this won’t shock anyone who knows me, but I’m not actually that big on fruit. That being said, this week’s adventures in strawberry disposal are starting to win me over. And this strawberry blondie pie was the first major step in that direction.
Not only is it lovely (lust look at that presentation!), but its got a nice mix of fruity bursts of flavor and rich bar-cookie base. The texture is pleasing and so is the balance of flavor.
Mine didn’t look as cake-y as the original blogger’s (she called hers Strawberry Almond Cake Bars), but I really like the density I ended up with. My berries also ended up more baked-looking, and I might add even more berries the next time I make this.
When I took this over to my friend Megan’s house on Monday, it tasted pretty amazing with a scoop of homemade ice cream. But I just re-sampled some left overs (for accuracy in blog writing, of course), and it was really good on its own. And just to clarify, the only reason that there are still left overs is the massive amount of baking I’ve done this week! (See: Strawberry Oatmeal Cookies, Strawberry Lemonade Cake, Strawberry Crisp, etc.)
I baked mine in a 9-inch pie plate, and as you can see above, it baked out to the edges but not over. I was a wee bit concerned about that and kept an eye on it while baking. I think in a deep dish pie plate, it would stay inside the plate, but it wasn’t a problem here. It’ll look a bit precarious going into the oven, but the blondie base doesn’t cook up too much and the strawberries cook down a fair bit.
I had to guesstimate the “pint” of strawberries since I was (and still am!) working my way through two gallons of fresh picked ones. I sliced up roughly 2 cups, and next time I might do closer to 3.
I should also note that the almonds kind of disappeared in terms of both texture and flavor. This *may* have been because I’m lazy and just used some Honey Roasted Almond slices from Trader Joe’s instead of toasting my own. But whatever. I might up the almond extract a tad and use regular toasted almonds next time, but I’m pleased with the results and will return to this recipe in future.
Strawberry Blondie Pie (adapted from Julia’s Album)
- 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup sliced almonds, (3 ounces), toasted
- 1 pint (or 2-3 cups) strawberries, sliced
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter an 8-inch square baking pan or a 9-inch diameter round baking pan or a 9-inch pie plate.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together softened butter and brown sugar until the mixture becomes light in color and fluffy in texture (3-5 minutes). Add eggs and vanilla extract and continue beating until just combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until well combined. Fold in 3/4 cup toasted almonds into the batter. The batter will be thick and fluffy, but not really pourable.
Dump the batter into the prepared buttered pan, and use a silicone spatula to spread the batter relatively evenly in the pan. Scatter sliced strawberries and remaining 1/4 cup almonds over the top.
Bake for roughly 45 minutes or until edges are golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Original recipe said 60 mins, but mine were totally done at 45).