Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Berries, Berries and More Berries

Sometimes when I'm, at the grocery store I see all the berries and I want to fill my cart with them! But I can only eat so many strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. And how many times can I prepare a mixed-berry shortcake before the people I feed loose interest?

I checked out "Vintage Cakes" by Julie Richardson at the Valley Center Library and I have found the answer to that age old question: Berry Long Cake with Ginger Crumb! It is a super simple cake that uses as many different kinds of berries as you have in the refrigerator. And it is delicious! I like mine with a bit of fresh whipped cream but you can certainly serve it plain or with ice cream.

Berry Long Cake with Ginger Crumb
(this recipe has been modified slightly from the original)

Berry Topping:
1 1/2 pounds berries, sliced it large
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (regular sugar is just fine)
2 tablespoons brandy (if your a teetotaler use vanilla extract)

Crumb Topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup diced candied ginger

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger (NOT candied ginger, ground!)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk

1. Remove butter (for both topping & cake) from the refrigerator and set on counter.

2. In a bowl, toss the berries, sugar and brandy (or vanilla). Set aside on the counter.

3. To make the crumb topping, add the brown sugar and flour in a food processor. Pulse once or twice to mix. Cut the butter into cubes and sprinkle it over the brown sugar mixture. Pulse until combined. Add the ginger and pulse once or twice to mix. 

4. Remove the crumb mixture from the food processor, place in bowl and store in refigerator until time to bake.

5. In the same bowl of the food processor add the dry ingredients and pulse once or twice to combine. Cube the butter and sprinkle over the top of the flour mixture. Pulse until combined. 

6. In a seperate bowl, large enough to hold the entire batter with room to stir, crack the two eggs and add the milk. Whisk the eggs and milk together. Add the dry ingredients and stir them until combined.

7. In a buttered 2 1/2 quart square baking dish (mine is approximately 11 x 8.75), spread the cake batter. Top with the berries and any liquid in the bowl. Scatter the ginger crumb on top of the berries.

8. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Bake until the berries bubble and the cake is firm. 

9. Testing for doneness. If you do what I do and sprinkle that ginger crumb everywhere, it is almost impossible to tell if the cake is done. Get a toothpick, sharp knife or cake tester and, starting at a corner, test the cake. There should be a butter residue on the tester, but no unbaked cake. Pull from oven and let cool 30 minutes before serving. 

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