When I made Edna Lewis's blueberry cake with blueberry sauce from her cookbook The Taste of Country Cooking I used a 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan, and my cake bubbled over a bit; next time I’ll set it atop a baking sheet. I will also drain my blueberries more thoroughly, as this time they were left too liquid. Nevertheless, I thought this was good (even if it was not as mind-blowing as the plain pound cake), and Andrew, who loves blueberries, thought it was extremely tasty. I would love to eat this with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
I must confess that I used regular baking powder, but to simulate the Royal Baking Powder called for in the original recipe, combine 2 parts cream of tartar with 1 part baking soda and use the called-for quantity of that mixture.
About the author: Robin Bellinger recently escaped a career in book publishing, which was cutting into her cooking time. Now she's a freelance editor and can bake bread on Tuesday afternoon if she feels like it. She lives in Midtown Manhattan with her husband and blogs about cooking and crafting at home*economics.
Blueberry Cake with Blueberry Sauce
- serves 4 to 5 (with leftovers) -
- 1 pint blueberries, washed
- 2/3 cup sugar, separated
- 2 cups sifted unbleached flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 teaspoons Royal Baking Powder (see headnote)
- 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
Put the blueberries, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/3 cup water in a quart saucepan. Set the pan over a medium flame and bring to a boil. Turn the flame down and leave the berries at a quiet, rather gentle boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain the berries, reserving their juices.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and blend with fingertips or, even better, a pastry blender until the mixture is grainy, fine, and a bit more coarse than cornmeal. Beat the egg and mix in the milk, then add to the dough, stirring all the while. Add the vanilla and continue stirring. Last, stir in the baking powder. Mix well and spoon into a well-buttered 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan.
Quickly scatter the well-drained blueberries over the pan of dough. Combine the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Set the cake into a preheated 425°F oven. Close the door and turn the oven down to 375°F. Cook for 25 to 28 minutes.
While the cake cooks, make the drained blueberry juices into a sauce. Boil the juices, adding sugar to taste only if necessary. Stir in a teaspoon of cornstarch dissolved in a little cold water.