Strawberries start our fruit season on the orchard. The first berries are large and beautiful and full of strawberry flavor but it is those that come this time of year that are best. The berries are smaller and it takes more to fill a basket but they are as sweet as candy. The best ever, especially when eaten warm from the sun.
A few days ago Hunton picked a flat of berries and then had to decide what to do with them. Strawberry shortcake and jam were definite but he decided to make a Strawberry Angel Cake. This is one of the recipes from my new cookbook.

He didn’t have the preferred angel food cake pan with the removable bottom so he used a bundt pan. I was sure he wouldn’t be able to get the cake out intact, but he succeeded. I took some photos as he proceeded.

Pull gently leaving a good inch or so around the edges and at the bottom.

Pull gently leaving a good inch or so around the edges and at the bottom.

Once the cake is completely cool, it is taken apart, filled with a strawberry, whipped cream mixture and reassembled. The final result is lovely to look at and even more delicious to eat.

The inside of the cake is pulled out and the shell ready to be filled.

The inside of the cake is pulled out and the shell ready to be filled.

The top is replaced and it's ready for frosting.

The top is replaced and it’s ready for frosting.

Beautiful, right?

Beautiful, right?

It looks good enough to eat!

It looks good enough to eat!

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Strawberry Angel Food Cake

This recipe has been a Russell family specialty for fifty-five years. Its origin is long forgotten, but I remember my mother making it when I was a girl in Otisville, Michigan. It’s best with a homemade Angel Food Cake, but these days using a dozen egg whites leaves a dozen egg yolks. Once upon a time I could use them but not now. I use a boxed Angel Food Cake.

Ingredients
Angel Food Cake baked according to the directions on the box (or homemade)

1 small (3oz) package strawberry gelatin
2 cups heavy cream
l quart fresh strawberries or l pound package whole frozen berries, thawed and drained.
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Method
1. Dissolve gelatin using ¾ cup boiling water. When the gelatin granules are all melted, add 1 cup ice water. Chill until consistency of egg whites.
2. Whip ½ cup heavy cream.
3. Slice fresh strawberries (frozen may be used whole). Whip gelatin one or two minutes with electric mixer.
4. Remove the mixer and fold whipped cream and strawberries into the gelatin. Refrigerate while preparing the cake.

Assembling the cake
1. With a serrated knife, slice one inch from the top of the cake and reserve.
2. Gently pull inside of cake out in chunks but taking care to leave outer edges intact.
3. Fill center hole with cake chunks and then spoon gelatin mixture into the cake shell alternating with cake chunks.
4. Replace top slice of cake. Chill at least four hours.
5. An hour or two before serving, combine remaining 1½ cups heavy cream with 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla and whip until stiff enough to hold a shape. Frost the cake with this mixture.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serves 10 to12.