Friday, August 9, 2013

Book 104: Luscious Berry Desserts

by: Lori Longbotham

This recipe calls for tiny, wild blueberries - even suggests using the intensely flavored dried blueberries if you don't have access to the wild ones. The dried blueberries I have purchased in the past, were indeed intense in flavor - almost too much - not to mention they have added corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and sucrose. I prefer my dried fruit to be just that - fruit. Dried.

Well I had just purchased three quarts (last of the season) of fresh (not wild) blueberries from the farmer's market. Being they are larger than the wild berries, I used less than the three cups called for in the recipe. I did not measure, just eye-balled it, so I can't give you the amount I used.

The batter alone had the most heavenly scent from the lime zest and fresh thyme. I purposely did not wipe the bowl clean with the spatula as I normally do. I wanted to make sure there was a little (OK, a fair amount) left in the bowl for a wee little taste. Yum. This was going to be good.

My plan was to make, bake, and take this cake to my sister for her to bring into work the next day. Unfortunately, the cake stuck in the pan. This cake wasn't going to be going anywhere other than the trash. I don't know why it stuck like it did. I buttered and floured the pan as instructed. The same pan turned out this beautiful cake just a short time ago.

Even though I knew that I would be tossing it, I still went ahead and brushed the lime juice mixture over the cake, until it started to basically disintegrate, so I stopped. I was hoping for at least one slice of cake for a photo-op and taste test.

Without the lime juice mixture, the cake is very dry. You would not want to skimp on adding it - all of it. I grabbed a good chunk of this pitiful cake and dipped it in the juice for a taste. I do think this would have been a decent cake had it turned out for me.

 Thyme infused milk.

 The aroma and flavor of the batter was delightful.

 Can't wait..

 Excitement ensues..

Oh man..

The majority of the berries sunk to the bottom of the pan - which in turn is the top of the cake once unmolded. Doesn't look half bad from this angle - believe me, it was pretty sad looking.

 Yeah, not so pretty..

I almost did not post on this recipe. I thought who would want to read about a failure? Then I thought why not? I believe we should all share our fortunes, as well as our misfortunes. Because we all know that not everything works out like we hope it will. And for me, I like to see that others have issues besides myself; there are others (even the pros), aren't there?

Lime and Thyme Blueberry Pound Cake
Serves 10-12

1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3½ cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¼ cps sugar
6 large eggs
4 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups ripe blueberries, preferably tiny wild blueberries, picked over,
    or substitute a generous cup of dried blueberries
½ cup fresh lime juice

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Generously butter and flour a 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan.

Bring the milk and thyme just to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and steep for 7 minutes, then pour through a fine strainer set over a bowl and let the milk cool to room temperature.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add 1¾ cups of the sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the milk in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating just until blended. Beat in 2 teaspoons of the zest and the vanilla. Gently stir in the berries. Transfer the batter to the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 40 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let t he cake cool  in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then turn it out onto the rack and set it right side up.

Meanwhile, bring the remaining ½ cup sugar, 2 teaspoons zest, and the lime juice to aboil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Brush the lime juice mixture over the warm cake and let cool completely. Serve, cut into wedges.

Luscious Berry Desserts/Lori Longbotham  


  1. Failures are always worth posting. Makes us appreciate actually trying the recipe and times when the recipe turns out correctly! Love all the blueberries!

  2. The flavors sound so delightful…I would have loved a taste. So sorry it didn’t work! I would have eaten it anyway!

  3. Cathleen, first up Thank Oyu so much for the lovely birthday whishes! Lori Longbotham has wonderul recipe books (I have the Luscious Lemon Desserts one and love it) and this cake recipe is one that I would have chosen as well - with all those lovely blueberries, this cake must have tasted like summer! Delicious - who care about appearances?!
    Have a wonderful Sunday!


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