One of our favorite summer activities as a family, is "going berrying." Sunshine. Beautiful surroundings. Time together...and best of all--reaping the benefit with basket of plump, fresh berries.
Investigate pick-your-own-berry farms in your area. It is well worth the effort! Berry Crumb Cake is one of our family-favorites that utilizes the fresh picked gems:
Berry Crumb Cake
1 3/4 all-purpose flour
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh berries, such as blueberries, blackberries or cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and lightly flour the bottom of a 9-inch cake or springform pan. To make crumb topping, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and melted butter in a large bowl. Mix until combined, but still crumbly. Cover lightly and set aside.
Combine egg, milk, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix until blended. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add egg/milk mixture and mix until just smooth and blended. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the blueberries in a single even layer over the batter, leaving about a 1/4-inch border around the outer perimeter of the pan. Scatter the crumb topping evenly over the cake. Press the crumbs down lightly.
Bake in preheated oven until a cake-tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake completely in the pan. To remove, loosen sides with paring knife and turn out onto serving plate. Dust the top of the cake lightly with powdered sugar and serve.
Did You Know: Fresh blueberries are generally available from mid-July to September. Size varies from pea-size to about 5/8-inch in diameter. Wild blueberries grow on low bushes in the coastal mountain regions. More than 50 varieties of blueberries are cultivated in the Northwest, each with slightly different flavor characteristics. Lewis and Clark explored blueberry uses during their expedition in the Northwest Territory. One of their first meals with the Indians consisted of venison cured by pounding blueberries into the flesh and then smoke-drying it. They discovered that the Indians also used dried blueberries in stews and soups.