Double Blueberry bonus!


Saturday morning we all went out blueberry picking.  It was a beautiful summer morning and we knew there would be plenty of berries ripe for the picking and there were.  The whole family loves blueberry treats of one form or another.  Whether it is blueberries floating in the Cheerios bowl, a great new coffeecake, a cobbler or even homemade blueberry ice cream we knew that we needed to pick quite a few to please all of our request. That is what we did…probably around 10 pounds or two berry buckets full.

Okay, so not all of the berries made the buckets!

After about a half hour of picking our way through the patch, we loaded up the car and headed towards home, but not before a stop for this photo opportunity.
Remember Children of the Corn!
So, late afternoon hubby and I started our respective blueberry projects.  His was a cake I found in our Fine Cooking Cookbook, Berry Buttermilk  Cake with Vanilla Creme Fraiche.  Mine was Blueberries and Cream Ice Cream.  And when all was done we froze quite a few bags of berries for later and then left a bowl of clean berries in the refrigerator for cereal.

Now the ice cream was pretty straight forward but takes awhile to make and harden.  

Blueberries and Cream Ice Cream (From Williams and Sonoma)

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries or frozen blueberries
      (see Note)
  • 3⁄4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice


In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the fresh blueberries, water and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes to steep.

Transfer the blueberry mixture to a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Add the cream and lemon juice to the blueberry puree and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving. Makes about 1 quart.

Note: If using frozen blueberries, make the sugar syrup by combining the water and sugar in a saucepan, bringing the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and cooking it until clear, about 1 minute. Put the frozen blueberries in a heatproof bowl and pour the syrup over them. Let cool and then transfer to the food processor. Proceed with the recipe.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Ice Cream, by Mary Goodbody (Simon & Schuster, 2003).

Our new cake recipe was pretty easy, but we learned a valuable lesson….leave the cake in the pan longer than the recipe calls for.  10 minutes to cool, when the weather is this warm is not enough.  Leave it there for an hour.  If you sprayed the pan with cooking spray it won’t stick.  And the other lesson is to skip the Vanilla Creme Fraiche and just make homemade whipped cream! The cake was delicious even though it came out of the pan with some issues.

Berry Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Creme Fraiche (From Fine Cooking)

For the crumb topping:

2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 oz. (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, chilled

For the cake:

2 cups fresh blueberries, raspberries, or a mix
13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pan and for the berries
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature; more for the pan
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups buttermilk

For the vanilla crème fraîche: ( I would suggest Whipped Cream, but here is the ingredients for the crème fraîche

1 lb. (2 cups) crème fraîche
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbs. granulated sugar

Make the crumb topping:

Mix the flour, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the dry mixture. Rub the flour and butter between your fingers until the mixture just comes together and has a nice crumbly texture. (This topping can be made ahead and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.)

Make the cake:

Rinse the berries well in a colander under running water and spread on paper towels. Let the berries air-dry for at least 15 min. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand-held electric mixer, whip the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 min. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well for 15 seconds after each addition. Scrape the bowl, add the vanilla, and continue whipping until the mixture is light and fluffy, 1 to 2 min. On low speed, add the dry ingredients one-third at a time, alternating with the buttermilk 1/2 cup at a time. After the last addition of buttermilk, scrape the bowl, increase the speed to medium and beat for about 15 seconds to mix the batter fully.

Transfer the berries to a medium bowl and toss gently with 2 tsp. flour. Gently fold the berries into the cake batter with a rubber spatula to avoid crushing the berries too much. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan with the spatula, level the batter, and sprinkle with the crumb topping.

Bake until a toothpick or wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake, 45 to 55 min. Let the cake rest for 10 min. before turning it out onto a rack.****(Note – suggest you leave in 1 hour) Flip the cake back over so that the crumb topping is on top. Let cool completely and wrap tightly. Store at room temperature overnight before slicing.

Make the vanilla crème fraîche:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or with a hand-held electric mixer, whip the crème fraîche, vanilla extract, and sugar until soft peaks form, about 2 min. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve:

Slice the cake and serve each slice with a dollop of the crème fraîche.


For the best flavor, make both the cake and its topping one day in advance

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