blueberry poppy cake
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This year I’m having a Blueberry Summer. I used to devour strawberries by a bucketful in previous years when their time came, but this year it’s the little purple beads that I’m completely addicted to.
With lousy timing my three little garden blueberry plants snuffed it this year. There was never much to talk about, let alone eat off them, but the meagre crop they’d produced convinced me that – totally unlike strawberries – British climate is not for bluebs. I’ve been buying the fruit from Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland and Netherlands and they are all more flavoursome then the crop from Kent or West Sussex. Admittedly this summer strawberry time fell onto the stretch of glorious weather while blueberries have suffered Octoberish climes, but I don’t think they like it here.
The little berries are gorgeous raw – the best thing is how neatly you can eat them. No pips, no stones to spit out, no juice running down your fingers. Roast them for a magical increase of flavour with just a sprinkling of sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Any cake goes – they will be happy in a pound cake, a sponge or a tart. They are totally at home on pastries and sweet breads. And they go with meat too – blueberry sauce is a wonder to serve with pork or chicken.
This is a pie of sorts or a tart, or flan, with the filling surrounded by a golden brown crust. The crust is much easier to make than a pie or tart crust – and the poppy seeds as always enhance the texture. I found the recipe in the reliable as ever NY Times Cooking.
- For the cake:
- 150g (2/3 cup) sugar
- 115g (½ cup) butter, softened
- 2 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 egg
- 195g (1 ½ cups) plain flour
- 2 tbsp. poppy seed
- ½ tsp bicarb of soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 120ml (½ cup) sour cream
- For the filling:
- 150g (1 cup) fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed, drained on paper towels
- 30g (2 tbsp.) sugar
- 2 tsp flour
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- For the icing:
- 40g (1/3 cup) icing sugar
- 1 - 2 tsp whole milk
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Butter and flour a 23cm (10in.) cake tin with removable bottom.
Beat the sugar with the butter until pale and fluffy, beat in the egg and lemon zest.
Stir the poppy seeds, salt and the bicarb of soda into the flour in a bowl. Add to the batter alternately with the sour cream in three or four goes.
Spread the batter in the tin, making a thicker rim around the sides. Mix all the filling ingredients and spread over the batter up to the rims.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes. In the meantime beat the milk into the icing sugar until the glaze is smooth and has drizzling consistency.
Remove the sides of the tin and drizzle with the icing. Serve warm or cool.