Plum Cake

Sunday, July 31, 2016

A friend gave me a rather large bag of delicious golden plums from her laden tree. Instead of going my usual route and make plum jam, I opted for a simple plum cake. I believe I made correct decision as this is a delicious and flavourful summer cake.

Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
5 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 vegetable oil
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8 plums ( I used golden plums, but you can use red or purple plums), halved and pitted

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 8-inch square baking pan. 

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the butter until lightened in colour and creamy (about 3 minutes). Add in the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. With the mixer on slow, add in the eggs one at a time. Beat for one minute after each egg goes in. Add in the oil, zest and vanilla and beat. Next, add the dry ingredients until just combined. 

Transfer the batter to the baking pan and evenly spread the mixture. Arrange the plums cut side up.

I found the baking time quite variable. The Smitten Kitchen baked hers for 30 minutes, but mine was done in 15 minutes. 

Let cool in the pan and then run a knife around the edges and invert on a plate. Make sure to place the cake with the plums facing upward. 

This cake keeps well at room temperature for 2-3 days wrapped in clingfilm. 

Blueberry Streusel Bars

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

After my delicious blueberry pancakes from last week, I decided to make another blueberry based dessert. These blueberry bars with a hint of lemon are simply wonderful! They are quite easy to make and last well in the fridge! I brought these bars to a potluck and they certainly didn't last long.

Blueberry Bars adapted from the Smitten Kitchen

1 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter (8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 white sugar
4 tsp cornstarch

Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and lemon zest. Using a pastry cutter, blend in the butter and combine until the mixture is crumbly. Add in the egg and combine. Press half of the dough mixture in the prepared pan.

In another bowl, combine the blueberries, lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch. Sprinkle this berry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the blueberries.

Bake for 45-55 minutes until the top is a light, golden brown and the blueberries are bubbling. Cool completely and cut into squares.

Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

fluffy blueberry pancakes

Blueberry season is upon us! As picking is one of my favourite summertime activities, I carved out some time on the weekend and stopped by Weller's Blueberry Farm in Fort Langley. A beautiful 10 acre farm located next to the Fort Winery. It was my first visit there and I was impressed with the quality of the berries (no-spray) and price ($1lb)! Hopefully I can make a second trip out! 
I also purchased some honeycomb while at the farm. What a rare treat!

With so many lovely berries in the house, I decided to make fluffy blueberry pancakes. Although I have made many pancakes over the years, I believe this recipe is the most delicious! The whipping of the egg whites is the key!

Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes adapted from Jamie Oliver

Makes approximately 8 large pancakes

6 large eggs
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 milk
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup blueberries

Separate the egg whites and yolks and place in separate bowls. Whip the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, add the sifted flour to the egg yolks and mix well. Then add the baking powder and milk and combine. Fold in the whipped egg yolks to the flour mixture. Once combined, ladle mixture in a oiled frying pan (on low heat) and add the blueberries on top. After the bubbles have popped on the surface, flip the pancakes. Once golden brown, transfer to a plate and enjoy! I topped mine with fresh honeycomb!

fluffy blueberry pancakes