It’s time for another moan about the state of the Blueberries we buy at this time – and many other – of year. It’s not as if they’re giving them away either.
I needed a way to use up rather a lot of soft, inedible blueberries. This easy cake was the answer. It has two possible finishes – a drizzle of lemon-flavoured icing, or a crumble topping – you decide! I had so many Blueberries that I made one of each – Anyone for a slice of cake?
It makes me feel so virtuous, using up those expensive Blueberries, so now of course I’m impossible to live with! Plus… I have CAKE!
- An electric mixer, or an electric beater plus a large bowl.
- an 8inch/20cms diameter spring-release, loose bottomed cake tin, buttered and lined. Or if bone-idle like me, use a ready-made liner.
- A strong spatula
- A flat-bladed knife
- A grater
- 250g Plain flour
- 2 teaspoons -10g – Baking powder
- 60g soft Butter
- 120g caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
- 250g Blueberries, carefully sorted and dried
- 125mls cold milk
- 40g plain flour
- 70g sugar
- 1 teaspoon of ground Cinnamon
- 55g very cold Butter, grated
- Pinch of salt
METHOD: Rocket science… 😉
- Heat the oven to 170ºFan
- Prepare your cake tin, leave to one side
- Put everything except the Blueberries into the bowl of the electric mixer and beat until completely mixed. (2-3 mins)
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and use the knife to scrap off any mixture on the whisk attachment.
- The dough will be very thick – this is normal!
- Add all the Blueberries in one go, and using the spatula mix them in gently – this is easier than you think it will be.
- Empty everything into the prepared cake tin, and level to a flat surface.
If you’re adding the Crumble:
- Stir the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt well together.
- Rub in the grated butter with your fingertips. It doesn’t matter if there are a few lumps in the mixture.
- Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the surface. Don’t bother patting it down.
For both cakes:
- Pop the cake into the oven for 40 minutes, turning it once, about halfway through.
- If you’re using the Crumble topping it will take 5-10 minutes more to be fully cooked. If you’re NOT using the Crumble, it will probably be done after the 40 minutes.
- Remove to a cooling rack. Release the spring mechanism and take off the tin. Using a spatula or a fish slice, ease the cake off the baseplate onto the rack.
- Allow to cool.
- The cake with the Crumble topping can be eaten after about 10-15 minutes.
- The plain cake should be fully cooled before icing.
- About 100g Icing sugar, sifted into a bowl, and half a Lemon: Add a few drops of lemon juice to the icing sugar until you get the consistency you like. Spread it over the top and leave to set. In these pictures, I used some dried Raspberry sprinkles that were hanging about, but you could use some whole blueberries.
- The Blueberries pop very nicely as the cake cooks – you can see this best in the plain cake, but it happens to the Crumble-topped cake too!
- I found this recipe on Deb Perelman’s site The Smitten Kitchen. She in her turn had – ahem – ‘borrowed’ and ‘adapted’ it from none other than the great Ina Garten. The original recipe calls for lots of creaming, adding eggs etc., but the Eating for Ireland all-in-one method wins again here I think!
- Now I’ve brought it to Ireland, and tidied up those pesky ‘cup’ measurements that I hate so much!