RECIPE: Blueberry Lemon Elderflower Breakfast Cake
I had some organic blueberries from my mother that were starting to crinkle up and dry out. Basically past the point of eating fresh, but not quite bad enough to toss out without feeling pretty guilty (Italian-Catholic guilt, gotta love it!). The best thing to do with berries like these is either make an ice-box jam or bake them into muffins, breads, cookies or cakes. Deciding on the latter route, I concocted a breakfast cake yesterday morning to use up most of them (tossing the really crinkly-mushy ones). I thought St. Germaine elderflower liquor would be a great way to add a sunny flavor to brighten them up a little.
I love Elderflower liquor. It has a wonderful floral, citrus flavor. When I bake with it I get a lot of questions about it. You can purchase syrups from various International markets and even at Ikea. They are great in summer cocktails, too. The flowers come from Elderberry bushes. You can harvest those as well to make syrups and tinctures to help colds and coughs (so my Mother-n-Law says). And there is always the famous quote from Monty Python's Holy Grail, "and your Mother smells like Elderberry wine!",highlighting another great use for the berries. I have not tried making wine yet. Might be fun!
I used whole wheat mixed with regular flour to make the cake more wholesome for breakfast. You can choose to go all one way or another. You can also add a different nut to your crumble like cashew or macadamia if you don't like almonds. But whatever you switch to, keep it a lighter flavored nut versus earthier so as to not hide the floral notes of the Elderflowers.
So there you go. Save some blueberries. Save some money. Impress and feed your family for breakfast. Pretty sweet.
Blueberry Lemon Elderflower Breakfast Cake
1 quart blueberries, rinsed and picked thru
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp Elderflower liquor, like St. Germaine
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. Raw Sugar (light brown is fine, too.)
Dash of vanilla
2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
Spray an 11 x 7 pan with nonstick spray. Then preheat your oven to 375˚.
In another small bowl, mix the flours, baking soda and salt with a fork. Set aside.
In another small bowl, make your crumble. Mush the butter with a fork, then add the sugar and vanilla and mush some more. Next, add the flour and with your fingers, press the mixture around until clumpy. Mix in the almonds and continue until well mixed and crumbly. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg with the oil. Add the milk, vanilla and sugar and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture while whisking until smooth and combined. Don't overdo it! It's why I do these kinds of cakes and pie crusts by hand versus the mixer because I feel the batter doesn't get overworked. With a spatula, fold in the berry mixture, liquid and all. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the top. Bake on the center rack for about 25-30 minutes, or until top is golden and toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Serve warm with some java.
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