Today was my sister-in-law Leigh’s birthday. (I hope you had fun, Leigh.)
Leigh and her family have returned home to Virginia from Massachusetts so the Weisblats weren’t able to celebrate the big day together tonight. We did make a cake for Leigh a couple of days ago, however.
Knowing that the tiny low-bush blueberries are currently in season in our area, the birthday girl requested a blueberry cake. Luckily, I had a fabulous rich one in my repertoire thanks to my friend Stu Cosby.
This cake needs absolutely no icing. It has plenty of butter inside, and the delicate flavor of the blueberries makes it pretty much irresistible.
With a birthday in the offing, however, I felt the need to make the blueberry cake a little extra pretty so I gilded the lily for Leigh. She deserves a little extra gold in her life. She’s a great sister-in-law to me and daughter-in-law to Jan.
for the cake:
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter (1 cup), softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pint blueberries (you may add a few extra if you’re in blueberry heaven)
for the optional coulis:
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
for the optional icing:
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter at room temperature
2 to 3 cups confectioner’s sugar (to taste)
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.
In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar to the butter and cream the mixture again. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, followed by the vanilla. Blend the batter until smooth.
Add 2 cups of the flour mixture to the batter. Dredge the blueberries in the remaining flour mixture. Gently fold the coated blueberries and remaining flour into the batter, and pour it into the prepared baking pan.
Bake the cake until it tests done, about 1 hour to 1 and 1/2 hours (frozen blueberries obviously take longer than fresh ones!). Cool the cake for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Allow it to finish cooling on a wire rack.
The cake serves 10 to 12 with or without icing.
If you really MUST make the icing and coulis, here are the instructions:
First, make the coulis (it has to cool). In a small saucepan combine the ingredients over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture liquefies; then stir frequently.
Boil the coulis for 8 minutes. Strain it through a strainer and discard the solids. Let it cool in the refrigerator for an hour or so.
For the icing cream the butter. Add the sugar a little at a time until you achieve your ideal consistency and flavor. Beat in the vanilla.
Ice the cake with the icing, and drizzle the coulis on top. Beautiful!