Blueberry Days [Blueberry Scones & Blueberry Coffee Cake]

7 Aug

I’d always look forward to the end of summer when I was younger. It sounds crazy for any kid to WANT summer to end, but I loved the fall. I loved the back-to-school excitement, buying all my school supplies and new school outfits. I loved raking pine needles and red-orange-brown maple leaves into piles, feeling so accomplished when I’d see them all tucked into big black garbage bags (even though the yard would be covered with leaves again within two days). And I loved going apple picking.

When you’re a kid, there’s something so magical about running around to pick and gather something that you can actually eat. Because when mom comes home from the grocery store with a bag of apples or a box of blueberries, it’s just not the same. You can’t feel the energy and sunlight and crisp fall air, or be awed by the efforts of the universe that went into creating that piece of fruit (granted, there are few things that don’t awe a six-year-old).

It’s fitting then, that just before heading off to college, my friends and I went blueberry picking. It was sort of a farewell to childhood (as was watching the last installment of the Harry Potter movies). Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge our childish sides every so often. This isn’t the last time we’ll go blueberry picking.

***

Both of these blueberry treats were irresistible straight out of the oven (scones slathered with butter that melted on contact, warm coffee cake alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream… tell me anyone who could resist that). By the second day though, my personal favorite was the coffee cake. The scones were somewhat like cornbread (which I never pass up), and they demanded a cup of tea- though I guess that’s what scones are meant to do. I just prefer moister sweets, and the coffee cake had the perfect amount of moist cake and buttery crumble topping.

Plain (now, that’s just being modest) Blueberry Coffee Cake

from The Joy of Blueberries

serves a 9×9 (or similar size) pan

Cake:

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter, melted (originally margarine)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Crumble Topping:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C

2. Grease a 9×9 or 8×10 inch pan.

3. Beat milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl.

4. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; mix into first mixture.

5. Fold in blueberries.

6. Mix all topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over batter.

7. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (Ours took about 60-70 minutes, so be sure to check that the center is fully baked.)

Storage: The cake will keep for at least 3 days at room temp. It also freezes well.

Morning Fresh Blueberry Scones

from The Joy of Blueberries

serves 2 rounds of scones, about 16 triangles

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
2/3 cup cold butter
1/3 cup buttermilk (we used 1/3 cup milk + 1 tsp white vinegar, allowed to sit for a few minutes)
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 egg, beaten (you won’t need the whole thing)

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C

2. Mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.

3. Stir in buttermilk, then blueberries.

4. Form a dough, adding more flour if necessary.

5. Divide dough in half.

6. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Shape each half into a 1-inch thick circle (about 5-6 inches in diameter) . Score each half into eighths (if it’s too hard, quarters are fine for now), but don’t cut all the way through.

7. Place on buttered baking sheet and brush with beaten egg.

8. Bake 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.

9. Separate scones into eighths while still warm.

10. Slather with butter and jam. Eat with a cup of tea.

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