Food is Love, Love is Food.

A blog devoted to the connection between meals, memories and the special moments in our lives.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Blueberry Heaven

It is blueberry season here in New England. I am lucky enough to live in a town with beautiful fruit orchards, and I take advantage of that at every season: strawberry season, blueberry and raspberry season, peach season and apple season. Over the fourth of July weekend, I went blueberry picking with my husband and daughters and my sister and her kids, who are all visiting from out of town. We parked our cars, climbed up onto the wagons, which brought us to the tall blueberry bushes in the back of the orchard, and started picking. It was just too easy; the dark, juicy berries were literally dripping from the branches, and in about 15 minutes, our small buckets were nearly full. Well, most of the buckets were full. All the kids, with the exception of my nephew John, whose motto is: “I pick, I don’t eat,” seemed to make it their singular goal to eat at least as many blueberries as they deposited in the bucket. My daughter Emily was the clear winner. When we were done, she had three berries in her bucket. Truth be told, though, my husband did start a small blueberry war with the kids, so a few were lost in the battle. All in all, it was a beautiful day; sun, berries, family togetherness. All the best things in life. By the time we got home, I realized that we had far more blueberries than we could eat, so I was forced to bake! Perfect timing for the party we had on Sunday. My sister made a delicious blueberry pie and I made my favorite blueberry dessert ever: Crumbly Blueberry Cake. It is just about heaven and captures the happiness I felt on that particular day.

Crumbly Blueberry Cake:
For cake batter:
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 ½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 pints fresh blueberries
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp. lemon extract

For the topping:
1 cup sugar
½ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into small chunks

To make batter:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, then the milk. Add the lemon juice, extract and zest. Add the dry ingredients in batches beating just until combined. Fold in blueberries. Put batter in a greased 9x13 inch pan, and pour batter in, spreading until it is evenly distributed.

To make topping:
In a bowl, combine all topping ingredients and using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Sprinkle topping evenly over batter, place in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

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