Perusing a blog hop recently, I stumbled upon this delightful looking recipe for a Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake. (Can you tell that blueberries are one of the reasonably priced fruits this time of year?) I have been told over and over that I can replace buttermilk with kefir so I decided to test it out at my parent's house last weekend.
Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake
½ cup organic unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. organic lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
generous 1/2 cup honey (more or less depending on your sweetness preference)
1 small egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla (I use homemade and used a generous splash)
2 cups flour (set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with the blueberries)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups organic blueberries (rinsed if fresh)
½ cup kefir (buttermilk if you prefer)
1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and honey until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with kefir. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Bake for 45 to an hour minutes, until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
I followed the instructions to the letter (okay, after making substitutions), even started over once when I added the egg with the butter and honey for creaming. Of course since I was taking it to my parent's I might have freaked out a bit. I started over from scratch and put the oops in the refrigerator. (I experimented with my oops and got a great new recipe. I will post it later this week.) Here are my notes:
- On the egg: I used an egg yolk (no white) because the day before I had accidentally cracked an egg and the white was the casualty. I say a small egg in the recipe because you should reduce the amount of liquid in the cake due to the liquid in the honey. Try to use a whole egg not just the yolk, think white fluffy meringue if you have any doubts about using the white.
- On the blueberries: I didn't have 2 cups of fresh blueberries (I honestly am not sure how much I used) and had a little bit left in the freezer (maybe 1/2 c to 2/3 cup) so I used both. Make sure to let you frozen blueberries come to room temp. I had approx. 2 cups.
- On the Kefir: I have kefir in the refrigerator that was a little thicker than milk but not by much. I would suspect that your thickness wouldn't matter. If you would prefer, you can make your own buttermilk from whole milk: place 1 1/2 tsp of vinegar/lemon juice in a 1/2 c. liquid measuring cup. Fill with milk. Let stand for five minutes.
- On the pan: Make sure to really grease it. Also, I used a 9x13 because it was what I have. I left it at 9 on square in the recipe because I think that it would be more cake like if it were thicker.
- On the temp and time: When baking with honey, it is recommended to lower the temperature by 25 degrees. You will also need to bake it a little longer, hence the longer cooking times.
As a final note, honey browns more quickly and sugar. I didn't do it with this recipe (mostly because I was rushing and then I usually forget things) but usually I cover the top with foil for most of the cooking, removing it for the last 10 minutes of baking. This way, my top rarely gets too brown.
The Verdict? It was really good. It was more of a dense coffee cake and to me tasted exactly like Starbuck's blueberry pastry. The kids gobbled it down and it got my husband's and mother's stamp of approval. The lemon wasn't overpowering or tart. It smelled great and gave the cake a fresh sort of taste.
Let me share a little confession with you: I don't like cooked fruit. Yes I know that sounds a little crazy but we all have our quirks. I am working on it and am in love with Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. It isn't the taste so much as the texture for me. Puree it and I am good, chunks and sorry but I am going to discretely pick them out or eat around them. I picked around the blueberries but even the ones I ate were yummy. The fact that I ate more than one serving is a very good endorsement. I typically pass on all things with fruit chunks and I ate three servings plus some of the leftover the next day.
Another endorsement: The chickens loved the crumbs. I doubt though that their enjoyment will have any correlation to yours as they eat bugs and grass. Enjoy!
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