It’s not often that I feel justified eating cake for breakfast, but with some out-of-town family and friends dropping by in the mornings this past month, I’ve had the perfect chance to make a lovely fruity coffee-cake with an amusing 1950s name: Blueberry Boy Bait.
In 1954, the cake won second-prize in the junior division of a Pillsbury baking contest, contributed by a 15-year-old girl.
A couple years ago, Cooks Illustrated had a revised recipe for this cake, and I made my own changes to the Cooks’ recipe, cutting down on the sugar, adding lemon zest and more blueberries. I posted the recipe on this blog about a year ago, but it’s worth repeating.
Blueberry Boy Bait
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter a 13 x 9″ pan or two square pans or pie pans.
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1. Cut the butter into the flour and sugar with your fingers until crumbly, with some pieces the size of peas. Reserve 1/c cup of this mixture.
2. Add baking powder, lemon zest, salt, egg yolks and milk to the remaining flour-sugar-butter mixture and beat with a mixer or whisk until well blended.
3. Whip egg whites until they hold 2-inch peaks. Fold them carefully into the batter, and spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.
4. Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the batter so they cover much of the surface; then sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture.
5. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until the cake bounces back. Place cake pan on a cooling rack for 20 or 30 minutes; serve warm or cool.
Speaking of the tried and true, I’ve made a couple versions of a blackberry cobbler I developed a couple years ago — and that reminded me that one of the first posts I wrote on this blog was about the eight blackberry cobblers I’d made in the summer of 2009.
Blackberries are in season now and we’ve picked so many we have scratches all over our arms and legs and stains on our clothes. I’ve put them in cornbread and scones, made blackberry jam, blackberry crisp, blackberry sauce, and more than a few cobblers.
I even tried making a blackberry fool one time when I had a little cream on hand, and it was very good.
In fact, we are just about satiated with blackberries! Still, it’s really nice to have a bowl of fresh berries around for snacking and adding to the morning granola. And you never know, I just might make one more blackberry cobbler this year.
You can make the cobbler with any kind of berries, and it wouldn’t hurt to add some peaches too — peaches and blueberries are always nice together. (I haven’t had enough peaches this season to do anything other than eat them without adornment.)
Last time I made the cobbler, I used the coarser polenta cornmeal and it had a nice crunch to it. But either way it’s a good, homey dessert. (And you can indulge a little after that light supper of corn and salad — see previous posts.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
- 5 to 6 cups berries (any kind)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
Mix above together in a 10-to-12″ Pyrex pie plate and bake the berries (without the dough) for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Meanwhile, make the dough:
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- Mix the above in a bowl; then cut in 3 Tablespoons of cold unsalted butter, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the butter is the size of corn kernels (more or less). Stir in about 2/3 cup of cold buttermilk, just until thoroughly moist. Don’t over-stir.
- When the berries are bubbling hot (after the 30 minutes), drop mounds of the dough on top in various places. Use a big spoon for this.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or so, until the dough is golden
- Let the cobbler cool a little on a baking rack; then serve warm, with ice cream if you please.
Blueberry Boy Bait and Blackberry Cobbler make it seem like it’s still summer.
Oh, wait a minute — it is still summer!