Blueberry cake: You just say the word, and I wax lyrical. Blueberries can do no wrong! All of my friends who used to summer with us in the mountains think of me fondly each time they make this blueberry cake. I can’t remember how many thousands I have made; I still have pictures of all of us wearing huge hats and carrying huge pails, picking blueberries in bushes. What fun! You will love that this blueberry cake, as all my cakes, beside being all natural of course, is made with oil, dairy-free and good for you.
If you decide to forgo the streusel step (can’t have nuts? there’s one good reason!), the blueberry cake will be slightly less dramatic but just as delicious.
Unprocessed frozen fruit and vegetables. Please take them seriously, they will be your best friends. If you happen, as I always do, to have an unseasonable yen for blueberry cake, muffins or smoothies, simply use frozen blueberries (try your best for the ones marked Maine wild blueberries: delicious!) marked IQF (individually quick frozen) or IFF (individually flash frozen). This means that the berries (or any other fruit, whole small fruit or larger fruit cut in chunks) are first frozen very briefly in one layer, then conditioned into their final packaging. The step of freezing them individually before freezing them in a block affords you the possibility of taking out only the amount of berries you need (perfect for smoothies and fruit sauces), saving the rest for next time; it also means they won’t make a mess and turn your whole batter purple. Simply leave them in the freezer until the minute you need to fold them into your batter; they have ample time to thaw during baking.
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1½ cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 3 cups flour: all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, or spelt
- 2 tablespoons triple sec, kirsch or cassis (liquor stores)
- 3 cups blueberries, rinsed and dried thoroughly (place in a large cookie sheet lined with several layers of paper towels), or frozen (do not thaw)
- ½ cup ground almonds
- ¼ cup oil
- ½ cup flour, any flour, a little more if needed
- ¼ cup sugar or Sucanat
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 10-inch round or tube pan, or an 11-by-14-inch baking pan.
Cream the oil, sugar, and eggs in a food processor until light and fluffy. Mixing the whole cake by hand is OK too. Add all but last ingredient and pulse 3–4 times, until just combined.
Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl. Very gently stir in the blueberries with a spoon. If using frozen, take them out of the freezer at this point, but not before. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Mix the streusel ingredients lightly with your fingers until the mixture looks like coarse meal, adding a drop more flour if necessary. Sprinkle evenly over the cake, using it all up. Bake about 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Invert the cake and let the steam escape, then invert again streusel side up. Makes a dozen ample servings.