It’s that time again in Michigan. That time, about mid-way through the summer, when it becomes glaringly apparent why I moved here (besides that thing about residency). You can pick ALL the things yourself.
Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, sweet cherries (by all the things I mean mostly fruit). There’s probs peaches you can pick somewhere. Then in a little bit it will be APPLE PICKING TIME which is otherwise known as the BEST TIME.
Last year I picked lots of raspberries (which I’m sure I’ll do again soon). This year I picked all the blueberries. Somewhere in the vicinity of 4 1/2 pounds of blueberries. This was on an unseasonably (read: 90s) hot day and I thought I was maybe going to die or get very sunburned in the middle of the blueberry bushes. Mostly what I got was lots of tiny scratches on my arms and hands from diving into blueberry bushes way too enthusiastically because I saw the perfect blueberry cluster in the midst of the bush. (I saw the perfect cluster a bunch. I just didn’t want to miss out. What if THAT one was more perfect than the last one??)
Somewhat unrelated: I made this cake last week, before I picked my own berries, with store bought berries. BUT. I’m strongly considering making it again this week, with my own berries. Although I super extra want to make a blueberry pie too, so we’ll just have to see.
The exciting thing about this cake is that is also has fresh sweet corn. Like cornmeal AND real corn. I liked the extra texture and little bursts of freshness, but if you’re weirded out by corn in your dessert, I won’t be offended if you leave it out. You could also use whatever berries you have on hand – strawberries, blackberries, raspberries…are there other kinds of berries? Although I didn’t have any at the time, I’m thinking some buttermilk ice cream would go really nicely with this.
Blueberry Cornmeal Cake
Makes one 9×13-inch cake – 12 big slices or 16 smaller slices
What you need:
3/4 cup (=1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup fine-ground cornmeal (I used yellow, but you could also use white)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
18 oz (or 2ish cups) fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
powdered sugar and/or whipped cream and/or ice cream for serving!
What to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 325F with a rack in the middle. Butter a 9×13-inch pan and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time.
4. Working in alternating batches, add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing on low after each addition. Stir in the corn kernels.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Evenly distribute the berries on top of the batter. You don’t really need to press them in, they’ll sink a little while baking.
6. Bake the cake for 45-60 minutes, until it springs back when lightly pressed. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Cake is best served the day it’s made, but it will keep for a day tightly covered.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.
Thanks for reading, happy baking!