Northeast Times

Baked blueberry bliss

Cool down: Blue­ber­ries straight out of the freez­er are a great way to cool down.

“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

Cake:

½ stick but­ter or mar­gar­ine

¾ cup sug­ar

2 cups flour

2 tsp. bak­ing powder

½ tsp. salt

1 egg

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.     

Top­ping:

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.

BLUE­BERRY 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

Whipped Cream

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.

Lay­er­ing Dir­ec­tions:

- 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)

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