Food

Wild Blueberries

Canadian Living
Food

Wild Blueberries

  [caption id="attachment_599" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="In wild blueberry country the blueberry plants are like a carpet on the fields and hills, a carpet of blue and green. The photo is courtesy of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America. "]In wild blueberry country the blueberry plants are like a carpet on the fields and hills, a carpet of blue and green. [/caption]                           I have had the pleasure of picking wild blueberries - and who wouldn't want to pull the dusty berries off low-slung bushes like the ones above. Most of my picking, however, has been in Ontario where the season starts early - mid to late July and involves sweaty hours under the sun, an ear cocked for the rustle of black bears engaged in some berry harvesting, all the while swatting flies and mosquitoes. Blueberries picked under those conditions have incomparable flavour. The Ontario harvest is tiny compared to berries gathered in blueberry fields in Quebec, especially the Lac St. Jean area, and in Atlantic Canada, notably around Oxford in Nova Scotia. In these areas the harvest is later, finishing in early September. While much of the blueberry harvest goes to frozen blueberries, wild blueberries have become more and more popular fresh in season, and for a price, consumers can dig into a bowl of wild blueberries - or sprinkle a few on ice cream or yogurt. Blueberries, like apricots, take on another dimension when cooked - hence all the blueberry muffins, pancakes and handsome double-crust pies that are icons of Canadian home cooking. But wild blueberries, special in themselves, deserve a dish that shows them off - hence the Wild Blueberry Bundt Cake.  It all starts with a bowl of fresh wild blueberries.  dsc03457        Wild blueberries tend to be small and intensely flavoured.  Wild Blueberry Bundt Cake Whether you're using one of the handsome decorative bundt cake pans, or a tube or angel food cake pan, this cake is simply a stunning looking dessert. The important aspect of the pan is the volume of batter it holds - 11 to 12 cups (3.75 t 4 L) are the figures that matter. [caption id="attachment_587" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="The finishing touch? More wild blueberries snuggled into the centre of the cake."]The finishing touch? More wild bluerries snuggled into the centre of the cake.[/caption]     Let the eggs, orange juice and butter all come to room temperature before starting the cake. Note that the butter and flour needed to coat the cake pan is extra to the ingredients listed below. 1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided 4 large eggs, separated 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated orange rind 3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt 1 cup (250 mL) fresh blueberries Glaze: 1/4 cup (50 mL) granulated sugar 1/4 cups  (50 mL) orange juice . Using a pastry brush and soft butter, grease a 10-inch (3 L) Bundt pan or angel food cake pan.   [caption id="attachment_588" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="Soft butter is ideal for coating all the ins and outs of a decorative cake pan. "]Soft butter is ideal for coating all the ins and outs of a decorative cake pan. [/caption]     Sprinkle about 1/3 cup (75 mL) flour over inside of pan. Rotate the pan, tapping as you turn the pan until the entire surface of the inside of the pan is covered with flour. Turn pan over and tap smartly to remove caked flour and leaving the thin film of butter and flour over the entire surface of the pan. Return any excess flour to the flour canister.    [caption id="attachment_589" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="If when you tap out excess flour you find a spot that missed the initial greasing, use you pastry brush to lightly grease that spot; dust the area with flour again and tap out excess."]If when you tap out excess flour you find a spot that missed the initial greasing, use you pastry brush to lightly grease that spot; dust the area with flour again and tap out excess.[/caption]     . In a large bowl, beat the butter and 1 cup (250 mL) of the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, 1 at a time, then the orange rind.  . In separate large bowl, and using clean beaters, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Beat in the remaining sugar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, until firm glossy peaks form. Set aside. dsc03467 . In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. With wooden spoon, or mixer set a lowest speed, mix dry ingredients into butter mixture, alternating with orange juice, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of juice. The batter will be quite stiff. . Stir one-third of the egg whites into the batter.     [caption id="attachment_592" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="To fold in, cut down through the centre of the batter, and bring your spoon back up along the inside of the pan. Your spoon should always be in contact with the batter while folding. "]To fold in, cut down through the centre of the batter, and bring your spoon back up along the inside of the pan. Your spoon should never be out of the batter while folding. [/caption]     . Fold in remaining egg whites. Sprinkle blueberries over the batter; gently fold into the batter using as few strokes as possible. .Scrape into prepared pan, pressing batter into the crevices; smooth the top. Tap the pan smartly on the counter to make sure the batter is well gets into all the pan's nooks and cranies.  . Bake in the centre of a 350°F (180°C) oven until a cake tester or skewer inserted into centre comes out clen, about 55 minutes. Let cool on rack for 20 minutes to firm up the cake structure. dsc03469 . Glaze: Meanwhile, in a small saucepan or in glass measuring cup in the microwave, bring the sugar and orange juice to the boil, stirring. Boil for 30 seconds; let cool.  . Loosen cake from edges of pan. Place a rack over the cake pan; gripping the rack and pan firmly with potholder-proteced hands, turn the cake over and onto the rack. Let cool.   [caption id="attachment_594" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="Just waiting to lift the cake pan to see if the cake is intact!"]Just waiting to lift the cake pan to see if the cake is intact![/caption]     . With a pastry brush, brush glaze evenly over cake. Transfer to cake plate. If desired, fill centre with fresh blueberries - you will need about 2 cups (500 mL).  . Makes 12 slices.   [caption id="attachment_595" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="The glaze adds an appealing sheen to the cake - but if you're in a hurry, skip the glaze and dust the cake lightly with icing sugar. "]The glaze adds an appealing sheen to the cake - but if you're in a hurry, skip the glaze and dust the cake lightly with icing sugar. [/caption]
Comments
Share X
Food

Wild Blueberries

Login