Although we've not yet reached the Summer Solstice, I would venture to guess that most people in the ATX would confirm that our summer has arrived in full force. This weekend, temperatures were in the high 90s with a relative humidity that gave us a 'real feel' well above 100 degrees. When picking a baking project for last week, I was drawn to the Blueberry Tea Cake recipe in the SoNo Baking Company Cookbook. In my mind, the name conjures up images of hot southern summers, and our long-standing attempts to meet them with some type of grace and even formality. White gloves and hats, hand-held paper fans and sweet tea with tea cakes. The crowd I run with isn't nearly so genteel...we run from one swimming hole to next, hot and sweaty, finding shade and cool water as a means of summer survival. Still, watching this Blueberry Tea Cake cool on the wire rack left me feeling somehow connected to the tradition of 'proper' southern women suffering through stifling hot summers...and there's a part of me that really digs that connection.
*(The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook)
Makes one 10" Bundt cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tsp for blueberries and zest
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp coarse salt
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups blueberries
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside.
2. To make the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 1/2 cups flour with the baking powder; set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugars and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat just until the flour is absorbed.
4. In a bowl, toss the blueberries and lemon zest with the remaining 1 tsp flour, and fold into the batter with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake, rotating the sheet about two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Invert the pan on the rack to turn the cake out; let cool completely on the rack.
5. To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice into the confectioners' sugar, adding the second tbsp. gradually, so that the glaze is just liquid enough to pour easily but still opaque. Place a sheet pan under the cooling rack. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake, allowing the excess to drip onto the baking sheet. Allow the glaze to cool completely for 30 minutes, then serve.
*I seriously love this cookbook. John Barricelli gives complete and thorough instructions that have helped me feel like I am more of an accomplished baker than I actually am. I'm loving the confidence boost. :)