Showing posts with label fresh blackberries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fresh blackberries. Show all posts

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Berry Cool Treat to Beat the Heat

Huge thanks to Daryl (Avery Aames) for kindly posting a blog for me last week. We were among the millions who lost electricity to a storm that was like something out of a horror movie. I've never seen anything like it. I kept looking out the window for signs of a tornado, but there were only menacing clouds. Nevertheless, that wind uprooted our neighbor's ancient apple trees, and things were flying through the air like in The Wizard of Oz.

We were among the lucky because our power came back within 49 hours. I can't imagine what it must have been like for people who suffered through the heat for an entire week. My internet service provider was out for the entire week, and it's still a little bit wonky, so if I owe you an email, I'm working on catching up!

I missed a lot of the new release fun this time around. Ellery was kind enough to let me read Pies and Prejudice in advance, though, so I know what a delightful book it is.  Her protagonist bakes charmed pies, and that's the perfect word to describe her new series -- charming.

I was thinking of Ellery while I was baking. Our blackberries are ripe, and last night, when the temperature subsided to a balmy 92, I picked fresh berries. But what to do with them? I opted for something that's referred to as a cake, but baked in a pie shell -- which is why I was thinking of Ellery. This is a European country-style cake that's actually an upside-down pie of sorts.

I baked it in a 9 1/2 inch pie dish, but if I made it again, I think I'd use an 8 inch pie dish. Pick the berries the night before, or early in the morning, bake the pie and let it set in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve it. When it comes out of the oven, it will seem very runny. Don't worry, those juices are absorbed as the cake cools. It's perfect for this hot weather we're having. A berry cool treat.

I have more blackberries. What's your favorite blackberry recipe? Or do you simply admire them and move on when you see them?

European Country-Style Blackberry Cake
8-inch pie pan or cake pan
canola oil
2 cups blackberries, washed and picked over
(save 3 pretty blackberries as garnish)
2/3 cup sugar

2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk (I used nonfat)
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

whipped cream (optional)

Lightly grease the pan with the canola oil. Mix the blackberries with the sugar and a light sprinkle of cinnamon. Let stand.

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, add the milk and then the melted butter. Beat well. Mix the baking powder with the salt and flour and add to the egg mixture. Scrape the bowl, add the vanilla, and beat one last time.

Arrange the blackberries on the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Pour the batter over top of the blackberries.

Bake 30 minutes. Cool on a rack and refrigerate until set. Loosen edges gently until you can flip it over onto a cake plate.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. If you don't want to pipe the cream on the cake, dollop a spoonful in the middle, garnish with 3 blackberries, and pass the whipped cream for those who want it.