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Lemon Blueberry Cake

Grab those blueberries before they are gone.  This is a great cake to make for either dessert or as a breakfast treat.
It is a pretty simple cake to make and packed with flavor.  I am not a huge fruit fan, but have no problem when they are presented in a dessert of some sort.

INGREDIENTS:

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola, or coconut oil)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For the lemon glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

reheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. Whisk into the flour mixture. Set aside.
In a separate medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Pound on the counter so the loaf cake is evenly set in the pan.
Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Place the loaf on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the loaf cake with a knife. Carefully remove loaf from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.
While the loaf cake is cooling, make the lemon glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle the glaze of the cooled loaf cake. Cut into slices and serve.

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Blueberry Pie Time!

Hubby and I sat around one Sunday afternoon and starting watching shows we had taped on our dvr.   During this time we uncovered a Barefoot Contessa episode where she was making pies with a friend of hers.  One of the pies was a Blueberry Pie made with a simple crust that glistened with sugar coating.   Hubby was intrigued. …He had never made a pie crust from scratch and he was itching to find a new outlet for the fresh blueberries that are abundant now.
 
We’ll two days later I came home to a fresh made Blueberry Pie for our evening dessert.  Now I have to admit that I have never made or had Blueberry Pie because I have been more of an apple pie fan when it comes to fruit pies. This was delicious and worth a try before berries run out. Recipe come from Ina Garten,  my personal favorite on the Food Network. 

Ingredients for Pie Crust

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening, such as Crisco
1/2 cup ice water
 

Cut the butter in 1/2-inch dice and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out onto a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle at least 1 inch larger than the pie pan, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough so it doesn’t stick to the board. (You should see bits of butter in the dough.) Fold the dough in half, ease it into the pie pan without stretching at all, and unfold to fit the pan. With a small sharp paring knife, cut the dough 1 inch larger around than the pan. Fold the edge under and crimp the edge with either your fingers or the tines of a fork.

      Ingredients for filling

              4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried

              1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

              1/2 cup all-purpose flour

              1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

              1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

              1 tablespoon cassis liqueur

              2 Perfect Pie Crusts (Below)

              1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or cream, for egg wash

               

              Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

               Mix the blueberries, the 1/2 cup of sugar, the flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cassis in a large bowl. Carefully ease one pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate, making sure not to stretch the dough at all, or it will shrink as the pie bakes. With a sharp knife, cut the excess dough off at the edge of the pie plate. Spoon the blueberry mixture into the pie shell, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula to be sure you have all the juices.

               Brush the edge of the crust with the egg wash. Carefully lay the second crust on top, again easing — not stretching — it onto the pie. Cut the excess dough off at the edge of the pie plate. Press the two edges together with a dinner fork. Brush the top crust with the eggs wash, cut three slits for steam to escape, and sprinkle with sugar.

               Place the pie on the prepared sheet pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is very bubbly and the crust is nicely browned. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

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            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

            Directions:

            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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            Blueberry Time!

              Hubby was itching to cook this weekend, so I let him.  I am not stupid.  If a man wants to cook for you, you let him.  Just like if a man want to take you out to dinner, you let him. (Hint, hint…next weekend?)


            With it being right in the middle of blueberry season you have to take full advantage of it.  So out came the binder and the blueberry cake recipes we had accumulated.  We chose the Cooking Light Recipe from 1998. After a two week vacation I will take all of the lighter calorie recipes I can get.   I probably have this one from many years ago when I was a regular subscriber, but we had a new copy printed.

            Now he thought he had all the ingredients on hand, but that was not the case.  So, when I was out at my mother’s house while she had her sister and our cousins in for a visit, hubby was busy in the kitchen.  He not only made the dessert, but a salad i found and chicken kebabs for dinner.  I believe he’s had to make an extra trip to the store while I was gone for his day of cooking.  The end result was wonderful. 

            Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

            Ingredients

            • 2 cups granulated sugar 
            • 1/2 cup light butter 
            • 1/2 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
            • large eggs 
            • large egg white 
            • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
            • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
            • 1 teaspoon baking powder
            • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
            • 1/2 teaspoon salt
            • (8-ounce) carton lemon low-fat yogurt
            • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
            • Cooking spray
            • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
            • 4 teaspoons lemon juice 

            Preparation

            1. Preheat oven to 350°.
            2. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg white, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 tablespoons flour and blueberries in a small bowl, and toss well. Combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in blueberry mixture and vanilla; pour cake batter into a 10-inch tube pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
            3. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl; drizzle over warm cake. Cut with a serrated knife.

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            Glazed Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake

            • Back from vacation and right to a full and busy week of work and activities.  I really needed a vacation again to rest up from our vacation, but that never happens.  I look forward to Saturday afternoon when all of the chores around the house are done and we can sit back and enjoy the beauty of our back yard, my weekend oasis, our stay-cation spot of choice!  

            This past Saturday morning, we all had “chores” to do and things we wanted to accomplish early in the day so that we could enjoy the afternoon.  Hubby and our  daughter ran to the store and the farm market for ingredients for dinner and the cake he wanted to make.  Our little man had to mow the lawn and clean up before he could hang out with his friends.  My task of choice was to get the patio cleaned and set up, work in the garden deadheading and cleaning out, plus wash sheets so that they could hang out on the line.  Once hubby came back from the store he started to make this wonderful bundt cake, with a little help from me.   A perfect choice as we are in blueberry season right now. This is a classic from Cooking Light, so a little less guilt enjoying this after dinner treat.  


            • Glazed Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
            • Ingredients

            • Cooking spray 
            • 1 1/2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
            • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
            • 3/4 cup butter, softened 
            • large eggs 
            • 3 cups  all-purpose flour 
            • 1 tablespoon baking powder
            • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
            • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
            • 1/2 teaspoon salt
            • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
            • 3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
            • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons) 
            • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
            • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
            • Glaze:
            • 1 cup powdered sugar
            • 1 tablespoon nonfat buttermilk
            • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 

            Preparation



            1. Preheat the oven to 350°. To prepare cake, coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust with breadcrumbs.
            2. Combine granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt); stir with a whisk. Add blueberries to flour mixture; toss to coat. Combine 3/4 cup buttermilk, 1/3 cup juice, and extracts. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.
            3.  Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan; cool on rack.
            4. To prepare glaze, place powdered sugar in a small bowl; add 1 tablespoon buttermilk and 1 tablespoon juice, stirring with a whisk until combined. Pour glaze over warm cake; cool completely.
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            Blueberries, Blueberries, Blueberries

            What do you do when a holiday falls in the middle of the week and you are not taking any extra time off?  No big road trips or big barbecue parties were planned. Darling Daughter suggest Blueberry picking!  Blueberry picking when it is a 95 degree, hot and humid day?  OK, let’s get this done early in the morning when it is not so hot and then come home and make ice cream.  Off we go with a cooler packed with cold water, two empty buckets and sneakers packed for the berry patch. 

            We head on out to a rural area west of us to a local farm stand and drive down the bumpiest dirt road there could be in our area.  It reminded my husband and me of driving along the shoreline in Aruba looking for the Natural Pool.  At the bottom of the road you find a wagon that is set up as a weigh station.  the checkout guys tells you what area you can pick in and to avoid the areas marked with yellow flags (gopher holes) or red flags (poison ivy).  So we set off with our two buckets and begin to pick.  The bushes are full and the picking is easy!  We are even interviewed by a local news channel on what brought us out on a holiday to pick blue berries.

            Well thirteen pounds later, and two buckets filled to the brim, we head home.   We freeze six quarts, much on a bowl full of berries and try to find a recipe for Blueberry ice cream.  My Williams and Sonoma Ice Cream Cook Book comes through with a great recipe for Blueberries and Cream!   Very easy and delicious.

             Blueberry Ice Cream: (From Williams and Sonoma Ice Cream cook book)

            • 2 cups fresh blueberries
            • 1 cup sugar
            • 1 cup heavy cream
            • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

            Directions:

            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.