“Oh, I forgot to add the blueberries!” exclaimed Aunt Doris, who frequently brings her fabulous blueberry cake to share after our art class each week. We are not blood relatives, but Aunt Doris is the kind of person anyone would wish to have as an aunt. And she makes some mean cakes.
We passed around a big bowl of homemade whipped cream along with the fresh blueberries that were supposed to be incorporated into the cake. Sometimes, I thought, it can be a good thing to forget the blueberries. The addition of whipped cream and serve-yourself berries turned out to be a real treat.
Just about every cook has experienced forgetting to add an ingredient to a recipe. The phone rings, the baby cries, or a million other distractions and …. An omission can transform a seemingly fatally flawed recipe into something quite tasty – like the berries and cream over cake. Sometimes, it can be right to be wrong.
Blueberries are bountiful, beautiful and a best buy at the market right now. Wash them right before you want to use them. For later use, just wash, dry and freeze them on a cookie sheet. Then bag them in a resealable freezer bag. Frozen berries are perfect for smoothies and baking later.
Blueberries have become a super food. Their anti-oxidant pigment is said to help enhance memory, and to fight cancer and infections, as well as to help reduce bad cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and stroke. A great snack food, berries jazz up oatmeal and yogurt. Try them tossed into salads. Blueberries make great pies, muffins, cakes, jellies and jams. Blueberries are low in calories, and contain Vitamins C, A and E. Their glycemic index, a concern for diabetics, is considered low.
Here’s Aunt Doris’ blueberry cake. It’s quick to make and is a homemade, “keeper” recipe. If you can’t bear to turn on the oven now, freeze some of the abundant supply of fresh berries, and make the cake in the fall.
AUNT DORIS’ BLUEBERRY CRUMB CAKE
½ stick butter or margarine
¾ cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup milk
1 cup blueberries, washed and drained
- In a bowl, mix butter and sugar.
- Add flour, baking powder and salt.
- Slowly add egg and milk. Mix well.
- Fold in blueberries.
- Pour batter into an 8-inch (or 9-inch) greased and floured pan.
½ stick butter or margarine
½ cup flour
½ cup sugar
¾ tsp. cinnamon
- Mix ingredients until crumbly. Spread evenly on batter.
- Bake 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
As a no-bake alternative to use some of your prodigious supply of berries, try the following recipe. Homemade whipped cream is literally and figuratively like the icing on the cake. It tops the trifle.
2 pints of blueberries, washed and dried (Use paper towels)
3 individual packages of Tastykake Krimpets – Half of a family size box (remove icing) or ladyfingers or sponge cake (Depending on size of your bowl)
¼ cup triple sec or orange juice (Or a little more to dampen cake pieces)
½ cup almond slices, plus extra for decorating top
Homemade Whipped Cream
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
¼ cup sugar or more to taste
1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Chill bowl and beaters in freezer for a few minutes.
- Pour cream into bowl and beat at highest setting for a few minutes until cream turns into consistency of sour cream.
- Add sugar gradually and then vanilla while beating to incorporate and thicken for a minute or two.
- Use a deep clear glass bowl or trifle bowl.
- Spread a layer of cake chunks to cover bottom of bowl to about 1-inch thickness.
- Sprinkle triple sec or orange juice over the cake pieces.
- Distribute a layer of berries to cover the cake.
- Spread a layer of whipped cream over the berries.
- Add another layer of berries.
- Distribute ½ cup almond slices over the berries.
- Finish with a layer of whipped cream over the berries.
- Decorate with additional almond slices, some berries and mint.
- Refrigerate and chill for 1 hour or more.
Eat berry well, live long, enjoy!
(Questions or tips can be sent to Donna Zitter Bordelon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Northeast Times, 3412 Progress Drive, Suite C, Bensalem, PA 19020)