Blueberry Cake or Muffins


This is perfect for late spring and summertime when fresh blueberries are plentiful. I love how the fragrant nutmeg complements the fresh fruit. My friend Marcia got this recipe from her mom. Our families used to pick wild blueberries with her in-laws in the New Hampshire countryside.

I changed the recipe a bit, substituting finely ground whole wheat flour, cutting down a bit on the sugar and adding vanilla. The original recipe calls for half-and-half, but I use 1 % milk and still get a tender and delicious muffin.

Makes a 13 × 9 inch cake or about a dozen muffins

Blueberry prep:

2 cups fresh blueberries

2 Tb flour

Cake:

2/3 cup sugar

1 cube (1/2 cup) butter at room temperature

2 large eggs warmed to room temperature

½ cup milk

1½ tsp vanilla

1 cup finely ground whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup walnut pieces (optional)

Topping:

2 Tb sugar

¼ tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350’

Wash blueberries, and discard overripe ones. Dry in a paper towel. Toss blueberries with 2 Tb flour so that they are lightly coated.

Sift flours, salt and baking powder and stir well to combine.

Beat butter on high speed and add sugar, beating for a few minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until the mixture is light. Scrape the bowl and add 1/4 cup milk, mixing well.

Stir half the flour mixture into the batter only until combined. Add the other 1/4 cup milk and the rest of the flour mixture and slowly stir only until combined.

Fold in the blueberries and walnuts.

Pour in a buttered 13 × 9 inch pan, or into about 12-14 paper muffin cups.

Mix 2 Tb sugar with ¼ tsp nutmeg in a cup. Sprinkle about 1/3 to ½ tsp over each muffin, or if making the cake, sprinkle evenly over the cake.

Bake cake for 45 minutes, muffins for 35-40 minutes, until top is light brown.

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Abuelita Luz’s Camote con leche (Yam Pudding)

My husband Jesús’ grandmother, Luz, made Camote (pronounced ka-MO-te) con leche as a favorite treat for him when he was a kid. He loves it with a glass of cold milk. I call it Yam Jam since that rhymes, but really it is a pudding. I added a bit of nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice and a spoonful of maple syrup to Luz’s recipe. I bake the yams to caramelize them and bring out their natural sweetness. Smooth and fragrant with spices, this recipe is much lower in sugar than candied yams.

Store yams in a cool dry pantry. Do not refrigerate, as this will lead to a hardcore yam. (I am not talking about porn or zealots here, but a condition in which the outside will soften but the inside will remain hard.)

2 cups mashed garnet yams

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (I like Trader Joe’s brand)

1 Tb maple syrup

1 cup milk (I use 1 %)

Preheat oven to 450′  Wash yams and stab them several times. Bake in a foil-lined pan with a couple of inches water for an hour or until soft. (The foil makes an easier cleanup). When cool enough, peel them and mash or process in a food processor.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top.

This dish is easily made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave.