Saturday, June 21, 2014

Blueberry Buckle (according to Betty)

I had this weird dream last night. I dreamed that we had moved into a new house and our friends were throwing me an impromptu housewarming party. Now that is probably the best dream I could have right about now (apartment living is pretty cramped), but in my dream folks kept showing up. 

 And in my dream the company consisted of new friends and old friends I hadn’t seen in 20 years. Each time somebody different would pop in my dream this thought would go through my head, “All I have to feed them is some saltines and celery!” 

I have no idea. I don't have any saltines in the pantry at present.

I don’t know about where you live, but where I come from you have to at least offer your guests something to drink. I’ve been known to ask the pest control fella to “help himself” to a corn muffin. 

He declined, regretfully. I could tell he really wanted to grab one.

Who knows why we dream the things we dream. I’m hoping a new house is in our future, but I think my dream had more to do with the fact that I was planning to do some marathon baking when I got up the next morning. 

Cousin Camp (which is an annual tradition) is fast approaching and I’m trying to get ahead of the ballgame. Every year, instead of spending hours in the morning chained to the stove flipping pancakes or frying eggs, we offer instead a Breakfast Bar.

The items on our Breakfast Bar include yogurt, oatmeal, granola, cold cereal and this year we are offering coffee cake. And turkey bacon, but I don't have a recipe for that.

Have you heard of the coffee cake? 

They are easy to make and relatively inexpensive. 

Sure. The traditional recipe I used has gluten. And sugar. If you are avoiding any of those things I would suggest you find another recipe or at least modify this one. I, myself, avoid simple carbs for health reasons. I found a recipe that used a combination of almond flour and coconut flour that I’m going to also try for those of us who need to stay away from all the other stuff. 

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is uncomplicated. It is for when you know company is coming in the next hour or you want to fix an extra special treat with your Saturday morning omelet. Or when you are putting on a weeklong Camp for your nieces, nephew and son and need super easy items you can whip up or pull from the freezer that don’t have long complicated names in the ingredient list. 

The recipe also comes from one of my favorite cookbooks in the history of cookbooks. The Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book circa 1954. 

My copy is so old. It belonged to my Great Grandmother. My mom got it and used it as a young bride and then passed it on to me when she found a copy in better shape at a Flea Market. 

Mine has more character. I also have to use a bit of detective work when looking for a recipe. Some of my favorite recipes aren't even in the right place. It really needs some love and attention. 

I mean really. No telling how many years of splatters are on this page. 

One thing I love about Betty's recipes in this book is that it give you a basic foundation with many different variations.

For instance, you can see that this recipe is for the Prize Coffee Cake and the picture above is just the variation.  I made many kinds coffee cakes today and not once did I have to leave Betty behind. I will give you the recipe further down and any changes I made, but for now you can admire the real deal.

You can also see from the above picture that someone (who happens to be my mom) made note of doubling the recipe. This happens to be a good thing to do when you are making enough coffee cake to feed all of your friends, and neighbors and your neighbor's friends and neighbors. 

I am not a baker, but at least baking allows me to play with fun toys now and again. Like this sifter. How much fun is a sifter?

If you build it. They will come. Sifting is so much fun.

I have to say that blueberries are a rare treat. Nobody I knows has them growing in their backyard. My Dad has blackberries, strawberries, gooseberries...No blueberries. However, you can use frozen and I picked up blueberries at Aldi this week for a steal. I'm also seeing some kind of stick now that I look at the blueberries closer. I promise you I washed them. There was also that time I washed those blackberries before I put them in that cobbler. And before that guy found a beetle in said cobbler. True Story.

Remember that the batter for a coffee cake is pretty thick.

It's also easy to make the toppings. I think they make a difference and add a little something extra. More sugar for one.

The finished product!

I wasn't kidding when I said I made a lot of coffee cakes today. That one in the center looks a little toasty. It is actually a Cinnamon Coffee cake. I was worried that the topping wasn't getting crunchy enough so I broiled it for a minute. If you squint it looks just fine. After all of these beauties cooled, I removed them from their pans, wrapped them up in plastic wrap, stuck them in ziplock bags and labeled them. They will be moved to my Mom's deep freeze and await consumption. What a way to go. By the way, I also made 2 Spiced Apple Tea Cakes (in bundt pans) and all the layers for a four tiered birthday cake. I sure hope Mom has room in her freezer.

Here is the recipe as promised. 

Mix together thoroughly 
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of soft softening (I used coconut oil)
1 egg
Stir in 
1 cup of milk (I did use almond milk because I had some a shelf stable carton I needed to use)
Sift together and stir in 
1 1/2 cups of flour (I used 1/2 all purpose flour and 1/2 wheat flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Carefully blend in 
 2 cups of blueberries

Spread batter in a greased 9" pan (I used 8X8). Sprinkle with  topping (recipe below). Bake for 45-50 minutes. The 'foundation' recipe doesn't take as long to bake. I imagine the fruit inside this one causes it to take longer. 

Mix together 
1/2 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup of soft butter

Just another note. The original recipe for the Blueberry Buckle increases the flour from 1 1/2 cup to 2 cups. I didn't do this and everything turned out fine. I could say that I did so for some culinary reason, but I just wasn't paying attention. 

Surprise. Surprise. 

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