Fresh Strawberry Tea Bread

Fresh strawberries and almonds dot this tea bread, the perfect addition to a breakfast or brunch buffet.  It is delightful, and even better spread with lemon curd, whipped butter, or whipped cream cheese.  In early spring the weather can still be chilly, how great that West Coast strawberries are in season and popping up in Midwestern markets; this bread is like a warm summer breeze.

2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup sliced almonds

4 ounces (8 T.) melted butter, cooled

2 extra-large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups small-diced strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.

Spray a 9 X 5-inch bread pan with non-stick spray, then line with two sheets of parchment (one length-wise and one cross-wise) and secure with small binder clips.  (See the video for a demo!).  Spray the parchment with non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (through almonds) and set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, place the eggs,lemon juice, vanilla, sour cream, and melted butter.  Blend on low to medium speed until well blended.  Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until there are no streaks of the dry ingredients.  Add the strawberries and mix until evenly incorporated.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and use the spatula to press the batter evenly into the pan (this batter is dense and won't level itself).  Use an offset spatula to level the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.  A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean. 

Place the pan on a cooling rack and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.  Gently lift the bread out of the pan and place on the rack and allow it to cool completely.

Serve with whipped butter, lemon curd, or whipped cream cheese on the side.

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