Farmhouse Berry Cake
July 8, 2012 § 7 Comments
I love berries! And my garden is full of them. Once they get going it’s a picking frenzy I’m on. Currants, gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. I used to have strawberries too, until the chipmunks took over. But I will have them again, I am fighting back. But that will be another post.
The currants are ripe now, so are the gooseberries. Raspberries and blueberries are starting too, I can pick a pint a day now and then it’ll be quarts a day!
Berries are so luscious on their own, mixed together with nothing but some thick, raw cream on top. I like to preserve them too so I make jam, jelly, sauces and put them in smoothies. Of course I have to bake with them and this is my go-to recipe for a delicious afternoon treat.
The original recipe came from the Hay Day Country Market, a gourmet food store that opened in Westport, Connecticut in the 1980’s. It was the first of it’s kind back then, a farm stand originally. They were the first to provide local fruits and vegetables, homemade breads, jams and even flowers. In Westport at the time this was quite a hit. Martha Stewart lived there also and the rest is history as they say!
I’ve changed the recipe a little, used maple syrup instead of the sugar and white spelt flour instead of regular wheat. I like spelt flour because it has less gluten and is one of the original grains, non-hybridized like regular wheat. It’s easier to digest and some people with gluten sensitivities can eat it without a problem. I do all my baking with it.
You can use so many different toppings for this cake. I mixed red currants, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries in this. In the fall, you could make it with apples, pears or plums. Or use them all together. Change the spices too. Cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg are great flavors to try. Mint and pears are a good combination…..you get the idea.
And don’t forget the whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
1 cup white spelt flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter (8 Tbl)
1/4 cup maple syrup or 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 cups fruit
Butter an 8 or 9 inch cake pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
You’ll need an electric mixer for this to really cream the butter and sugar/maple syrup together. Cream about 2 minutes. Add eggs and mix well, then add the vanilla and zest. If you use maple syrup the batter may separate a bit, don’t worry. It won’t if you use sugar.
I never sift my flour, baking powder and salt when I bake. I just measure it and put it right into the creamed mixture. It all gets mixed together well so why the extra step? Works for me, but if you want, you can sift them and then add it. Mix well and pour into the prepared pan.
Put the berries on top evenly, you might want to press them down a little into the batter too. The batter will rise up and cover them a little bit.
And bake for about 25 to 35 minutes. The edges will be browned and you know the toothpick test, make sure it comes out dry when you test the middle of the cake.
I think once you make this and see how easy and delicious it is, it’ll be your go-to cake too. Enjoy!
illustration by me