Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake with Blueberry Sauce

My husband loves a great deal.  A sale is good, free is better.  Who can argue?  Well, I can.

As Dave was getting busy with the outside of the house: painting, mowing, washing windows, etc., he noticed the edge of the driveway wasn't looking so spiffy.  We have a concrete pad to park on but there is an area about 9 feet wide and the length of our 3 car wide driveway.  We've looked into getting it covered with asphalt, but the cost is in the thousands!  Not worth it.  But Dave was not deterred in getting this area to look better.

He noticed the street sweeper was slow to our neighborhood this year.  We had a very late spring and the street sweepers were busy elsewhere.  Why is this important?  Because in the winter when we get ice, the city dumps gravel on the streets to prevent accidents (it is too cold here for that salt stuff to work).  Every street had lots of gravel that had been dumped by the city and had migrated to the corners.  Dave grabbed his wheelbarrow, his broom, and a shovel; walked to the closest corner and swept the gravel into the shovel and into the wheelbarrow.  He brought it home and began to fill in the dirt part of the driveway.  He made a couple of trips every evening, getting farther and farther away from home, until all the corners were cleared within a 6 block radius of our house.

A couple of the neighbors would stop and ask Dave if he was moonlighting for the city and if the street sweeper was out of order, but Dave just smiled and kept sweeping.  The end of the driveway does look neater, but I bet if he calculated his time, it would have been cheaper to buy a truckload of gravel and bring it home all in one evening.

So, when blueberries went on sale (one of Dave's favorites), I knew he would be happy that I bought a case and brought them home.  I'll make blueberry jam, blueberry muffins, and freeze most of them for blueberries on my oatmeal and a blueberry pie for Thanksgiving.  But first, I made this blueberry, buttermilk cake.  It was so delicious.  I had to eat two pieces the day I made it.  A sweet deal and no wheelbarrow needed.

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake with Blueberry Sauce
adapted from Food Network Magazine, July/August 2013

For the cake:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups blueberries (about 1 pint)

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a nonstick 12-cup Bundt pan. Whisk 3 cups flour, the baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat 2 sticks butter, the granulated sugar and vegetable oil in a bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, at least 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low; beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla. Add about one-third of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk; beat until almost incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture and the remaining buttermilk. Beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat 30 seconds. Finish incorporating the flour by hand to avoid overmixing.

Toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons flour in a small bowl. Spoon one-third of the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle in half of the blueberries, then top with another one-third of the batter. Scatter the remaining blueberries on top and cover with the rest of the batter; smooth the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour, 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 30 minutes in the pan. Run a small sharp knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert onto the rack to cool completely.

For the sauce
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Put blueberries in a small saucepan.  Smash with a potato masher or pastry blender (or fork).  Add sugar and lemon juice, cook over medium high heat until it comes to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool.  It will thicken as it cools, if it becomes too thick, warm in microwave or on the stove and add a little water, stir well to combine.  Serve over cake.

July 10, 2013   Sunrise 3:37  Sunset 12:16  Temp. H 62/ L 49ºF

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