7/15/12

blueberry shortcake

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I can only take the sound of fireworks so much.
Granted it's that time of year when fireworks go off (a lot) and that's fine.
But not when you know a certain neighbor of yours will be lighting them starting july 1 straight, every night, until the end of September (usually when his stash runs out).
The nights when the humid air on cape cod is so thick you need to chew it before you breathe it, I'll have the A/C on and can't hear the fireworks; I'll only hear a distant rumble much like the sound of distant heat-thunder. Lately, we've had wonderful sleeping weather; low 60's and lower dew points. The perfect time to leave the windows open and feel that cool air caress you as you sleep. So the dreaded boom, crash, hiss of the fireworks fills the air late into the night--until at least 1am, and I have to close one set of windows to stifle the noise a bit.
As I try to fall asleep, I think doesn't this man have a job to wake up to in the morning? How much money does he drop on fireworks per year? Isn't he BORED with them by now?
His house isn't in my area; it's well behind my house, past the conservation land, along a busy rural road. But since it's all flat land, the sound carries--carries very well.
Why aren't other people complaining about this noise? Will I be the only person calling the police begging them to please make him stop lighting them at night?
Just the other day, I saw another neighbor, teaching his young son (7 or 10?) how to light fireworks. Yes, light them. Crazy right? This man, the father of a young impressionable mind, outside on a gorgeous summer day teaching his son how to light fireworks? And so they did just that a good part of the day. I stood there, looking out the window in pure shock. Wondering if the young boy loses a finger will Dads' brain FINALLY turn on and say "hey maybe this wasn't such a good idea".

My love for strawberry shortcake is strong. But as of late, I've gotten tired of it or rather I've run out of ideas in which to create "new" ways of making it. So why not try the 'other' fruit--blueberries. Just as tasty when made into a compote.
But a blueberry shortcake I've found needs a moister cake than your average shortcake. So I found just the right cake to use, that has a hint of buttermilk in it.
This recipe was so good. I received so many compliments on this one--I highly suggest you make this one; you won't be disappointed. I've heard that the cake can deflate? It hasn't happened to me yet. But then again I don't open my oven a lot, I let it do its own thing and never poke at it until it looks "almost done" then I give it one poke.

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Blueberry compote is now one of my favorite summer eats. Endless uses.

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This cake is a great base for many others summer treats and dishes.

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Happy Summer!

blueberry shortcake
print recipe

cook notes:
Catherine says that the cake is destined to sink once it cools, but I had no such problem. This cake does not keep well. By day 3 it was already getting hard. So use it up in two days (which should be no problem).

blueberry compote:
1 pint of blueberries
juice of one lemon
3-5 TB sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
Cornstarch slurry (1 TB of cornstarch in ¼ cup of warm water)

Heat up In a small saucepan, heat up the blueberries with the lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil until most/some of the berries have broken up and this is visible juices.
Take off heat. Get your slurry ready. Add in the slurry when the berry mixture has cooled a bit. Mix well, put back on heat and heat over low heat until mixture has thickened a bit. If it’s too thick, just add some water. I like mine fairly thick. Do a taste test when mixture is cooled to see if its sweet enough for you.

Cake base:
from Catherine Newman's Donut Cake
Makes one 9-inch cake

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 ts vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 TB cornmeal (I did NOT use this)
1/2 ts kosher salt
2 1/2 ts baking powder
1/4 ts freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Heat the oven to 375°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan, and set it aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition, then add in the vanilla. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg.
Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with flour.
Make sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next, but don't over-beat it at the end. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake until the top is puffed and golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving warm or room temperature.

To assemble:
Slice up cake and serve with blueberry compote and fresh whipped cream.

29 comments:

  1. Just out of curiosity, is there any way you could please put your whole posts in the RSS feed instead of just your first paragraph? It's somewhat prohibitive to have to click over and open a new window when the whole post could easily be available in Google Reader, etc.

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    1. I wish i could. But right now i have blog theft and they use my rss feed to pipe directly into their site to claim as their own. Sad. Sorry for the inconvience

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    2. No worries! I can't believe someone would do that. What a d-bag. Sorry you have to put up with that.

      And no worries. I always click over anyway. :)

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    3. thank you! I know, it's awful. (so is my spelling)

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  2. Oh my gosh! Dawn! This just looks amazing! Delicious!

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  3. i have a fantasy of coming to cape cod and baking all day with you…stuff like this!

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  4. that compote - I could put that on everything. Or just...use my spoon :)

    Great looking dessert and base cake as you said for other recipes, too.

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  5. Oh lordy, I am loving the base cake recipe! Could top it with anything!

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  6. What a gorgeous dessert. Um...I live across the street from a guy who is a professional pyrotechnic...not even kidding. Fireworks go off on the regular

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  7. I live in Hawaii and have the same problem with fireworks, not so much on the 4th of July but at New Years. It starts about a week before and lasts till about a week after.
    I try to leave the island during that time. The noise and smoke is horrible.
    We have one that likes to light them almost all night long too!!
    Didn't realize it was such a wide spread problem.

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  8. I'm really not a fan of fireworks. They remind me of bombs. And I do NOT like bombs.

    I like shortcakes though! Very muchly.

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  9. Hi,

    This is a fantastic recipe, and great fun to make with the kids. Thanks so much for posting it.

    All the best, Alex

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  10. Your photos of this treat look exceptionally great today. :-)

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  11. I love your blueberry shortcake! I've been obsessed with blueberries since I arrived in Massachusetts. You guys got the best berries here :)

    Ok, I had to laugh at your comment about the fireworks. The same thing happens where we stay in MA too. Fireworks all the time... all summer long. What's the deal w/ that?!?!

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  12. this looks absolutely incredible. wow wow wow.

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  13. why should strawberries get all the shortcake glory? your compote sounds divine!

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  14. I'm very intrigued by this. I usually steer clear of shortcake because most people serve it on a biscuit like thing and I can't stand biscuits, but this looks more cakey. Is it? My neighbors also shoot off fireworks all the time. They live quite close and more than the noise, I'm afraid they'll start a fire, especially in this drought. Haven't heard them in a few nights, so hopefully they're done . . . until next year anyway.

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  15. I like the sound of that compote! Maybe I'll make a big batch and eat it on my morning oatmeal until it disappears. :)

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  16. I actually prefer blueberries to strawberries so this version of shortcake is right up my alley. I love the deep dark glorious blue of that compote - my mouth is watering just looking at these photos!

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  17. ah, fireworks would get to me, too, but i'd just console myself with this blueberry shortcake. yes, please!!

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  18. I am so jealous you can leave your windows open at night. It doesn't cool down that much here, plus my apartment building is hot ALL THE TIME. So effing weird. That's why I haven't baked in ages. Sad

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  19. I am really liking the sound of a blueberry shortcake!

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  20. That picture on your header kills me every time I stop by. I really must eat before blogging. This also looks delicious, as always!

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  21. What a versatile cake! You can serve this all year long just by changing up the fruit. This may become my new go-to dessert for company. ;)

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  22. I keep waiting for someone to recognize that without the cornmeal, this is Edna Lewis' Busy-Day Cake plus your Blueberry Compote. And that's a really good thing.

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  23. I want to make this one soon! I love the change up from strawberries since they are already starting to be out of season here.

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  24. Hmmm - I can see myself slathering this compote on just about anything. Looks just perfect for summer!

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  25. Thanks for sharing the donut cake recipe. We're always searching for a basic cake recipe that can stand in place for lots of desserts. Good one!

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  26. i can only stand so many fireworks, too!
    oh my gosh... there are so many possibilities with this cake! it looks fantastic, especially with the blueberry compote! yum!

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