On the weekends I hang out quite a bit at The Orient Country Store on Village Lane in Orient, New York, one of the most charming streets in America. At the market, after saying hello to the amiable hosts, you have to steel yourself to walk past the line-up of Miriam Foster’s exceptional baked goods displayed on the old wooden counter—the salty oatmeal cookies, the dark chocolate brownies, coconut macaroons with a beautiful crispy char, her unforgettable ginger snaps, muffins, and the amazing brown butter spice cake, which turns out to be gluten-free.
The thing that nobody says about gluten-free baked goods is that they should fool you into thinking they’re not gluten-free—they should taste as good as what they’re replacing. Miriam’s Brown Butter Spice Cake is heaven itself, nutty and luscious from the brown butter, and studded throughout with tiny bits of ground almonds. Since we had just made a bowl of strawberries mixed with honey and a little lemon juice, we spooned it over Miriam’s cake, and we were speechless from pleasure. This accident of fortune produced the best strawberry shortcake of our lives. Can you imagine it with a dollop of whipped cream?!
We called Miriam instantly, and with the kind of witty generosity that is typical of her, she agreed to share her recipe with all of us. Whether you use it as a base for strawberries, or just to nosh on with glee, you’ll be as happy as it is possible to be. Don’t be surprised if your friends beg you for the recipe. Send them straight to us. Thanks, Miriam. Crank up the oven.