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Friday, July 07, 2006

Berry Season

A couple of years ago, I ripped out the spiky bushes in our front yard and planted some berry bushes (pink currants, black currants (the real kind, not the little raisin they call a 'currant' in baking), and gooseberries, plus some raspberries in the back yard.

They sort of vegetated the first year, but this year started growing well, and all had enough berries on there to make it fun - and it will only getter better each year from now on!

Today I picked all the black currants and made currant sauce - it will be nice as a substitute for cranberry sauce. Kira had some over ice cream tonight.

The gooseberries aren't quite there yet, and there aren't enough for any big projects, but the first few were ripe for eating out of hand, and Kira pronounced them her favorite berry so far.

Pink currants are really tart, so I like to stick them in cakes. I've been making this recipe - the cake is really sweet, so it needs a very tart fruit or berry to taste good. It's been a hit every time we've made it.

Rhubarb Cake

1/2 cup soft butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour (I use one cup whole wheat, one cup regular unbleached)
1 tsp baking soda
1 c buttermilk (or substitute 1 cup milk and 1 tblsp lemon juice)
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh rhubarb (or other tart fruit like pink, black or red currants, gooseberries, huckleberries, or tart apples)

Mix wet ingredient, then add dry ingredients, mix until well blended, then gently fold in fruit. Spoon into greased 9 x 13 pan

In a separate bowl, mix:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Sprinkle evenly over batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until toothpick stuck in center comes out clean. This is great with real whipped cream.

It's amazing how quick this cake disappears...

posted by Birgit
5 comments at 11:28 PM

I sounds like a wonderfully dense and very flavorful cake. I am copying the recipe for myself.
My Auntie had currants growing in her yard. They were wonderful and she made a jell from them. Leslie tried to cheat when picking once; she put currant leaves in the bottom of the pail. Guess who was caught? You can't fool a first grade school teacher, can you?
I agree with Kira; I adore the taste of currants.
Yum! I love ruhbarb. I've never had currants. We just picked ollalberries.

Would frozen berries work in this recipe?
Hi Helen - yup, I bet frozen berries would work!
Thanks for the recipe! Yum-O!
Looks tasty!
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