Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sour Cream Blueberry Cake

The last few weeks have been crazy, but I finally managed to bake a family favourite last week.  I love baking with fresh blueberries, although frozen are good in the winter, but I wanted to take advantage of the end of the season fruit while it was still available.

This recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma Desserts "Best of the Kitchen Library" book that my daughter gave me as a birthday gift last year.  It's not in the current version of this cookbook, so I'll reprint it here:

Cake Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. softened, unsalted butter
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. finely grated lemon or orange zest (I prefer orange)
1/4 sour cream
3/4 cup mil
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Confectioner's Sugar Icing
1/4 cup (2 tbsp.) unsalted butter
1 tbsp. water or juice (lemon or orange)
1/2 Confectioner's/icing sugar (regular sugar does not work)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or no-stick spray a regular Bundt pan.  This is a very heavy batter, so it needs the interior "space" that a Bundt shape provides to cook properly.

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt, either by sifting or whisking - whisking is faster and neater!  In large mixer bowl, beat the butter until light.  Add sugar and beat until blended.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the citrus zest and vanilla, followed by the sour cream.  Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour until just combined.  The batter will be very thick.

Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan.  You will need to even it out with your spatula.  Sprinkle one cup of the blueberries over the batter and gently press them into the batter.  Repeat with the remaining batter, followed by the second cup of blueberries.

Bake 50-60 minutes, until cake tester is clean.  Time will vary based on your oven.  Let cool completely on wire rack before removing from pan.

Citrus Icing Sugar Glaze
In a microwave safe dish, melt butter with citrus juice until fully combined.  I've found this works better than adding the juice after the butter melts, since it incorporates more smoothly.  Whisk in icing sugar and you're done!

On cooled cake, drizzle icing evenly over the top, allowing it to run over the edges.  Cake should serve 10 or more depending on the size of your slices.

Friday, September 10, 2010

How do you thank the movers?

Tomorrow is hopefully the last of moving day my dear daughter's stuff back into the house, after a few weekends of driving back and forth across the city.  My best friend Fern, Megan and Duncan will all be here for lunch after the move and I wanted to make them something to go with our coffee after lunch.  Since we've had some cool weather, my inspiration was to make a crisp.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen any Spartan apples for sale yet - they hold their shape really well for baking recipes - so I decided it would be peaches and raspberries, which are still plentiful at the grocery store.  I make crisps all year round, depending on what's in season.  Add a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream and it's one of my favourite desserts!

                                   Peach Raspberry Crisp before baking:

and after...

It should be cooled now, so I think it's time to make sure it turned out well... ;)