I’m a huge fan of summer berries and going back to my Maine roots, blueberries are by far my favorite of all the berries. And because I am a native Mainer, when it comes to blueberries, in my opinion wild ones are far superior to cultivated ones. Smaller in size and darker in color, wild blueberries are sweeter and yield more of a “summer taste”. Unfortunately, fresh wild blueberries aren’t easy to find in many parts of the world so fresh cultivated ones will do in a pinch–because after all, fresh blueberries are better than no blueberries at all.
When you’ve had your fill of blueberry pies, pancakes and muffins and you’ve canned more jam than you can possibly eat and/or gift (can you tell what I do will all my fresh berries?), it is time to look for alternative uses for these sweet little berries. And when that time comes, look no further than this easy and flavorful tea cake from Williams Sonoma. The cake comes together quickly and with just a hint of spicy cardamom and a generous amount of fresh blueberries, it is the perfect snack or lunchbox treat. Of course, fresh wild blueberries are best but lacking them, feel free to substitute cultivated ones or even frozen berries. If you do use the frozen version, be sure to lightly dust them in flour before adding them to the batter. This will prevent them from “bleeding”.
BLUEBERRY TEA CAKE
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups fresh wild blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
- Preheat an oven to 350°F. Coat an 8 inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until thick and fluffy.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in the melted butter, rum and lemon zest.
- Add the flour mixture in two additions, alternating with the yogurt, and stir until just smooth.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with the spatula.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely in the pan.
- Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.
Yields: 1- 8 inch square cake