Monday, June 22, 2009

Blueberry buttermilk cake

Has this ever happened to you: A recipe such as this or this calls for buttermilk, you dutifully buy a litre of the stuff and are then left with a litre minus 1/4 cup? Scam alert! I think buttermilk should be free. After all, it's just the runoff from making butter from soured milk (though these days it's more likely its own product made from pasteurized milk curdled by adding a culture.) And why don't they sell buttermilk in smaller sizes? If they can do it with milk and all manner of cream, surely they should be able to figure out a way to do it with buttermilk, right? Am I right? (I think I'm right.) 

Now that we've finished our buttermilk temper tantrum, it's time to get down to business. Let's turn sour milk into something delicious. I guess you could fry up some buttermilk-marinated chicken, or some down-home buttermilk biscuits, or a whole mess of flapjacks, but that all seems like an awful lot of work to use up a couple of bucks worth of milk. 
Or, you can use this recipe that I adapted from -- a one bowl, one pan fruit-topped wonder that takes as much time to throw together as it takes the oven to preheat, and is on the table a mere 25 minutes later. In the original they called for raspberries, as in their Raspberry Buttermilk Cake, but I had some frozen wild blueberries I was trying to unload so used them instead. 

But I will be making this cake often, with every type of summer fresh berry I can get my mitts on over the next few months. Hmmm. Looks like I might have to buy more buttermilk... 


(serves 6)


1 cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

½ stick butter, room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 ½ Tbsp brown sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

½ cup buttermilk, well-shaken

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed and drained blueberries


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter and 9-inch pan and put and cover the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Using a mixer, blend together butter and white sugar for a couple of minutes, or until fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and beat a couple minutes more. At a low speed, add flour and buttermilk and lemon zest, alternating between wet and dry until just combined for a silky batter.

Pour batter into prepared baking dish or cake tin and smooth evenly. Top evenly with berries and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake in preheated oven until cake is golden on top on inserted toothpick comes out clean – about 25 minutes. Cool in pan for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Present it sunny side up on a plate.


Sheryl said...

When I get stuck with a carton minus 1/4 cup, I measure the rest out into 1 cup containers and freeze it. Then I just pull one out to defrost the night before for pancakes.

Amy said...

How did you get to be so smart?
Great idea.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh, they know EXACTLY what they are doing selling you buttermilk in quart containers, don't kid yourself. Here's what I do--make butter! Just get some heavy cream, tick it in your mixer on high, throw a bit of salt in there, take it past stiff peaks and the liquid starts to separate out. Let it go for a minute and you have, fresh, homemade butter, and fresh, homemade buttermilk! Both are quite good--the butter is firm and delicious (although maybe you don't want to waste it in a recipe), and the buttermilk is very tangy--amazing. Smart? Am I smart (too?) (I think I'm smart).

Actually, I think it is amazing that we overlook things like this all the time because we have become so used to grabbing what we need from the grocery store shelves.