Summer Cake

Strawberries are bursting forth in the great north woods. Well, not in the woods but in the fields. You know…strawberry ūüé∂ fields ūüé∂ forever ūüé∂.  *insert best Beatles singing voice*

(Side note: My kids get so mad at me because hearing just a few of the right words strewn together, matching any song lyrics I have ever heard, causes me to break into song. Case in point.) 

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Anyway, a cool summer evening and some berries prompted me to get my summer cake on.

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If you’ve got strawberries or any berries in your possession, you are free to make this delightful cake.

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Go ahead. I dare you.

Here is the official Strawberry Summer Cake post from Smitten Kitchen and official printable recipe. I left it completely un-tweaked, except for the fact that I did not measure my berries and Deb used a much prettier baking dish. While you are there, you should check out more posts on Smitten Kitchen. It’s a beautiful blog and the author even has her very own cookbook. It’s a wonderful one to add to your collection.

P.S. My daughter came in as I was writing this and part of her sentence contained “all you need is…” and what do you think I belted out? Oh, yes. *imagine more beautiful singing* ūüé∂ All you need is love, love,…ūüé∂ love is all you need. ūüé∂ Then she said, no, you also need a house and we had a brilliant conversation on what we really do need.

Love (see how I did that?), 

Ang

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Blueberry Tart

I do believe one of the best things about summer (besides the sun, warm weather,¬†and adventures on the lake) is the abundance of fresh fruit.¬† Locally grown.¬† Delicious.¬† Mesmerizing.¬† Mouth watering.¬† Fruit is in the air.¬† Fruit is everywhere.¬† (I’m hungry writing this.¬† Can you tell?¬† It makes me a little light-headed and poetic.)

We had a Garden Party event this past weekend (watch for more on that later!) and I brought this delightful Blueberry Tart.¬† This looks like a good thing to share with friends, doesn’t it?

This Blueberry Tart is so easy to make and is a joyful experience for the palate.  Yes, I said palate.

This could even be used for a Fourth of July event with raspberries or cut up strawberries joining the blueberries in a flag design or haphazard mix of red, white, and blue.  It is always a crowd-pleaser.  Just look at the berries.  They are their very own crowd of palate-pleasers.

I used my Fit fruit and vegetable spray to clean my pint of berries, which coincidentally measured to roughly the 2 cups needed for the recipe.  This meant no snitching of the blueberries.  (Good thing I purchased a second pint to cover myself in such an event!)  Then, I laid the blueberries in a clean towel and folded it over them so they were nice and dry at the time of their scheduled debut.  The moisture in the berries will eventually soak in the powdered sugar dusting so try to do that as close as possible to serving time.  I just use a little sifter and gently tap it against my hand to get this pretty effect.

Blueberry Tart recipe courtesy of Real Simple
Serves 8
Hands-On Time:  15m
Total Time:  48m

Ingredients

  • flour for the work surface
  • 1 8-ounce sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups blueberries

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375¬į F. On a lightly floured surface, unfold the sheet of pastry and roll it into a 10-by-12-inch rectangle.¬†¬†Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Using the tip of a knife, score a 1-inch border around the pastry without cutting all the way through. Brush the border with the egg and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake until golden and puffed, 18 to 22 minutes.
  3. Using the tip of a knife, rescore the border of the cooked pastry without cutting all the way through. Gently press down on the center of the pastry sheet to flatten it. Let cool to room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the cream, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly within the borders of the pastry.
  5. Arrange the blueberries in a single layer over the filling and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar.

May your house be blessed with a Blueberry Tart this summer –

Ang

Blueberry Boy Bait

Okay…I think maybe this could just be called Blueberry Human Bait.¬† The delectable smell that wafted from my oven would beckon anyone with blood running through their veins.¬† I found this recipe about a week ago on Smitten Kitchen and have softened the two sticks of unsalted butter approximately five different times in the course of the last seven days.¬† Sadly, the wee ones and realities of life prevented the Boy Bait from being made.¬† Well, today the stars have aligned and I am happy to report the Bait¬†has been¬†baked and is happily resting in our bellies.

Blueberry Boy Bait

Serves 12, generously

2 cups plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first as it tends to muddle in the batter)

Topping
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down bowl. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining one teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

For the topping:
Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

My oven can be temperamental so I checked my cake at 35 minutes and it appeared very done.  I inserted toothpick in a few places and it came out clean.  I would suggest you check yours at around 35 minutes too just in case your oven acts like mine does!  After cooling for 20 minutes, I inserted a mini-spatula between the edges of cake and pan to ensure easy release.  I took my cooling rack and placed it on top of the cake pan, inverted it, then gently placed my large platter on top and inverted it again.  Thus, the cake was right side up on my platter and ready to serve.  You could really just leave the cake in the pan if you wanted to.  It may depend on your presentation preference and who you will be presenting to.  I used frozen blueberries and they worked fabulously.  Let the baiting begin!