Hubba Hubba, its blueberry time in the Ozarks! They just started picking at the local blueberry farm, Persimmon Hill Farms. You start studying this little berry and like myself you’ll be determined to get more of them into your daily dietary plan. Let’s take a look at just a few of the benefits of this tiny, but mighty fruit.
…..Blueberries are nutrient dense, and extremely rich in antioxidants. Often referred to as the ‘KING’ of antioxidants.
…..One cup is only 84 calories.
…..Helps prevent ageing and cancer.
…..Protects cholesterol in the blood from being damaged.
…..May lower blood pressure.
…..May help prevent heart diseases.
…..Can maintain brain function & improved memory. (I need this!!)
…..Contains some of the same substances as cranberries referred to as anti-adhesives. The adhesives help prevent bacteria like E coli from binding to the wall of the bladder. Which can cause urinary tract infections.
…..May help reduce muscle issues after strenuous exercise.
Of course it’s better for us to eat the berries in their ‘raw’ form and not in desserts, cobblers and such. Personally I like to throw them into smoothies with a banana and a bit of protein powder.
In most areas of the United States we enjoy a common blueberry called the ‘highbush’. There is a ‘wild’ blueberry that is typically smaller than the ‘highbush’ called the ‘lowbush’!!! Many feel that the lowbush berries are richer in one of the antioxidants. It’s also dense with fiber. Sometimes I feel the main reason folks don’t eat as many blueberries is the cost. This spring there was a week when I had to pay $6.00 for 16 ounces. If it were for myself I wouldn’t have had them, but it was for a demonstration at work.
Now with all the healthy talk behind us, why not jump off the deep-end into a nice blueberry pound cake!!! I know, I give you all the wonderful benefits of the fruit and then poof I take a sharp right into a sugar and butter filled yummy.
I used to say that a pound cake is a pound cake is a pound cake. After last week I’ll never say that again. I was running a recipe (not mine) for blueberry pound cake that was about the poorest excuse for a pound cake I’ve ever seen. Most pound cakes use sugar, butter, lots of eggs, flour, and salt. It’s a dense heavy cake that’s also fairly moist. I like making them because they travel so well. It’s pretty hard to destroy a pound cake versus a lemon meringue pie! My favorite pound cake is my cream cheese or sour cream cake. After sketching this recipe out it may become my top pick.
I especially like the way this cake is put together. The creaming of the butter, sugar & eggs, then all the dry put together and the blueberries brought into the dry by hand. Finally the combination of the dry to all the wet ingredients. The first cake that I made using another recipe had 4 cups of blueberries in it. Bad idea, the cake was actually a little scary with all that blue! Not to mention the cost for 4 cups of berries.
You will also notice that I gave up my Bundt pan and baked this cake in 2 loaf pans. This was so much easier to cut and serve. If I were working on a presentation with this dessert I think I would consider some of the following: Whipped cream, fresh berries, mint or a light lemon drizzle. Another idea would be to sprinkle the entire top of the cake with sanding sugar. This can be found on the baking aisle at most stores. It’s what you might use to put on top of sugar cookies. If you like to make things ahead and freeze you’ll enjoy the way the loaf pans stack in the freezer versus a Bundt cake.
To all my family and friends back in Lewis County, Missouri. I’m coming home the end of June and hope to do a book signing on Monday, June 27th. The location will be announced in the next column. Hopefully some of you will have time to just stop by or get a new cookbook. Until then, Simply Yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Blueberry Pound Cake
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup salted butter, softened
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups fresh blueberries
(If you must use frozen, allow them to thaw first.)
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup half & half
1/2 lemon, zested
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two glass loaf pans with flour included vegetable spray. Using a hand or stationery mixer, blend the butter
and sugar until smooth. Add eggs 1-2 at a time finishing into a smooth batter, lastly add the extract.
In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients blending together with a spoon or whisk. After washing and drying the blueberries stir them gently into the flour mixture by hand. Carefully pour the wet ingredients into the dry, including the 1 cup of buttermilk. Stir until combined and no longer. Pour into prepared baking pans. Bake for approximately 65 minutes. Remember this recipe was written using glass pans. Different ovens and different bakeware will render time changes. When a metal bundt pan was used the cake took about 75 minutes.
Cake is done when toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
The glaze is just an additional recipe. We don’t feel the cake needs the topping. Other options might be to pour a thin layer of Persimmon Hill Amaretto Blueberry Sauce under or over the cake. Also a light covering of sanding sugar over the top would be a nice touch.