Home Cooking: Ask questions about recipe roots

December 09, 2009

Our family enjoyed a lot of blueberry coffee cake each year when fresh blueberries came into season. The great thing about this recipe is that you can substitute frozen berries and get the same results.

This cake is not only enjoyable with coffee for breakfast or brunch, but also delicious served with coffee or tea for dessert.

This recipe was handed down from my mother, and the origin of the recipe is unknown. If you have recipes or favorite dishes in your family, ask family members about the roots of the recipe and jot it down. After older relatives pass away, making their recipes and reading the historical notes are fun ways to remember loved ones.

-- Joyce Summers

Blueberry coffee cake

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (see cook's note)


Crumb topping:

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, cold

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a glass 8-inch-by-8-inch baking dish.

In mixer, or with hand mixer, cream together sugar, shortening and egg. By hand, stir in milk.

In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; stir into batter. Stir in blueberries and spread batter evenly into baking dish.

In separate bowl, mix together crumb topping ingredients using a pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly. The finer the mixture, the nicer the topping will bake. Sprinkle on top of batter.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into batter comes out clean. After cooling, coffee cake can be wrapped and frozen for later use.

Cook's note: If using fresh blueberries, turn onto paper towels after rinsing and pat dry. If using frozen berries, do not thaw. Stir into batter frozen. This will prevent the juice from the berries turning the batter purple. They will thaw and cook very nicely while baking.

- Submitted by Joyce Summers, personal chef and owner of Dinner's On! Personal Chef Service, Frederick, Md.;

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