The Great Northwest is famous for many foods, and while hazelnuts and salmon usually come to mind as the obvious meibutsu, we also grow spectacular berries. Among them, Vacciniums – huckleberries, cranberries and blueberries – are Queen. These Ericaceous lovelies, to which my namesake heather is related, thrive in Oregon’s acidic, volcanic soils and maritime precipitation.
When I get the chance to buy a flat of organic, local blueberries, I jump at it. Most of the blueberries from this flat were frozen or canned with elderflower cordial into jam and pie filling, but a few handfuls were destined for a loaf of crumbly-moist coffee cake. These are some of those.
I used the ain’t-broke-so-don’t-fix-it blueberry crunch coffee cake recipe from Joy of Cooking , opting to use full-fat yogurt and taking creative license to add a bit of lemon zest to the batter and a little cinnamon to the brown sugar and sliced almonds that were destined for nutty caramelized bottom (the topping, once inverted). Though I usually bake breakfast-type loaves in my long, aluminum terrine pan, this time I obediently opted for the Pyrex loaf pan. Fortunately, the interior turned out perfectly moist-crumby, without any of the raw spots as sometimes happens when baking with fruit (which is why I usually bake in the terrine pan).
I love being in a newly-baking way. Today is another cool and cloudy day, and I have plums and figs that need eating. Tarte tatin?