Sunday, July 1, 2007

This Isn't My Grandmother's Shortcake!


In my family, four or maybe five generations of it, strawberry shortcake is taken very, very seriously. There is A Way to make it, a time and place to eat it, and deviations are not encouraged. For the most part, I agree with that. Once you replace the strawberries with some other kind of fruit, however, anything goes!

And so, after having a lovely meal of roasted baby red potatoes, onion fritatta, and creamed spinach, I embarked on dessert. Let's call it Spiced Blueberry Corncake.

After my blueberry flavor pairing work last week, I had a combo in mind that I wanted a use for, having decided on a different one for my as-yet-to-be-made sorbet. I had tried a coriander blueberry mix and loved it, so that was my starting point. I poured about two cups of my frozen, hand-picked, wild blueberries into a small saucepan, added some sugar and the juice of a lemon, and turned on the heat. Once everything was well thawed and giving up juices, I pulled out the berries and reduced the liquid to a near-syrup, added about half a teaspoon of coriander, a pinch of salt, and the berries, and let it cool.

Meanwhile, my cake needed to be flavorful on its own. I worked all day today, and made dinner, so I cheated a bit on the cake. I used a Trader Joe's cornbread mix with an added tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest. It's great! I always seem to forget how lovely cornmeal and lemon are together.

Finally, plain-Jane whipped cream. I considered vanilla and/or orange extract and decided to just sugar it a little and be done with it.

The first piece for each of us went very quickly...Husband was stacking a second round before I'd even finished taking photos of my first helping. But I was pretty quickly back, too, once I'd started to dig into that first slice. Unfortunately, my best picture was of my second round, so it's on a dirty plate. I've decided to think of it as a wabi-sabi photograph and post it anyway.

It almost makes me want thirds, but Husband beat me to it and finished off the berries.

2 comments:

  1. Boy, does that ever look good. Freshly picked, too! My blueberry bushes are a sad, sad lot.

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  2. Heh! I can't take any credit for the blueberry bushes. Mother Nature takes care of hundreds of square miles of them for me (and my neighbors and the wildlife).

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