The blueberries have been particularly beautiful at the market recently. Inspired by my love of blueberries and childhood memories, I made a light and fruity gluten free cake that we enjoyed together one warm July night not that long ago.
Every summer throughout the years I was growing up, my parents would take us to Florida to see our grandparents. I always wanted to go visit towards the end of June as one of my grandmother's had an old stand of blueberry bushes. These enormous beauties standing amongst her forest of white pines were the reason for my wishing to visit in late June.
Large and succulent berries filled my thoughts as I would ask my grandmother for a bowl to pick them. I always told her I'd pick enough for her to make us a pie, but there were never enough. We couldn't help ourselves, my brother, cousins and me, we had to try them out. We picked the dark blue ones, those that were still slightly green and ate just about everything that touched our fingers. Only leaving those berries on the top of the bushes, we nobly declared that we would leave those for the birds. The truth was we couldn't carry the tallest ladder that would get us to the tops of the bushes.
Filled with remorse as we didn't have enough berries for a pie, we would discuss how we were going to break this to Granny. There always seemed to be a single cup of berries in the bowl, no matter how many berries were on the bush. And my wonderful grandmother, she would smile and thank us for the berries. Then she would say that there weren't enough for a pie she would have to whip up some blueberry syrup for the vanilla ice cream that we could help them churn. First we would have to wash up, she'd say. Since there were too many of us to wash in the house, she'd send my dad out to set up the sprinkler. That way she'd make sure that the sand and blueberry juice stayed outside and not on her rug.
Inspired by a variety of polenta cake recipes, I tweaked and altered until I came up with this version of the polenta cake. It celebrates one of my all time favorite fruits, the blueberry.
1/2 cup + 2 Tb butter
1/2 cup + 2 Tb cane sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup almond meal
3 1/2 tsp coconut flour
5 Tb yellow polenta or fine cornmeal
1/4 tsp baking powder
6 oz. or 3/4 cup blueberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 4 X 10 loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, dump in the almond meal, coconut flour, polenta or cornmeal and baking powder. Stir together.
3. Plop the butter into a mixing bowl and cream on medium speed. Pour in the sugar and mix with the butter. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl and continue to mix.
4. Slowly pour in the dry ingredients in to the mixing bowl and combine on low speed.
5. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and dump in the blueberries. Using a spatula or spoon fold the blueberries into the cake batter.
6. Bake for 45 minutes or until a pick comes out clean. Serve with ice cream or blueberry syrup.
What did my family think of the blueberry cake? Neither of the kids liked the cake, but all the adults thought it was delightful. They liked it with blueberry syrup, vanilla ice cream and with ice cream with blueberry syrup on top.