Blueberry haven

Because we have a berry farm in the area where you can pick your own, I don’t bother growing blueberries. The place is perfectly organized: on peak days, such as around July 4th, one family member greets you with a walky-talky alerting a second person, who leads you to your assigned spot. This way you don’t have to pace up and down the rows looking for ripe blueberries. One year, I spent 1.5 hours picking from a couple of bushes and came home with almost 20 pounds of blueberries. After we all have our fill, most of the blueberries go right into the freezer.

Today I used the last bag of those blueberries for a Blueberry Corn Coffee Cake. The recipe is adapted from Deborah Madison’s Sweet Corn Coffee Cake with Berries in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Her recipe is based on an 8-inch springform pan but this one is for a 9-inch cake, therefore the amounts are a bit odd. If you use frozen blueberries like I did, bake the cake a few minutes longer, and if it browns too much on top, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. Just make sure no ice crystals are clinging to the frozen berries, which might make the cake soggy.

Blueberry Corn Coffee Cake

7¼ ounces flour

3½ ounces yellow cornmeal

5 ounces sugar

2¼ teaspoons baking powder

1 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

6 ounces buttermilk

3½ ounces sour cream (reduced fat)

Finely grated zest of 1 untreated lemon

2¼ teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2¾ ounces corn oil

2 cups blueberries

Light brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, sour cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract, eggs, and corn oil.

4. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until well combined. I find that a silicone spatula works best, as you can scrape over the bottom and pick up any lumps.

5. Fill the dough into the prepared pan. Distribute the blueberries on top and gently press them into the dough. Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

6. Run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan and remove the rim. Cool completely on a wire rack.

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