Tuesday, June 18, 2013

mixed berry tea cake

happy summer everyone!  my favorite season of all.  this week makes the start of food network's summerfest, and we are starting with berries.  when i think of summer fruit desserts, i want something easy to make with an emphasis on the fruit.  crisps, cobblers...that kind of ease.  i will save layered cakes and homemade pies for winter, spring and fall.  summer? i want to be outside.

so i was thrilled to find recipes for tea cake a few years ago.  a dough that comes together in minutes (with NO rolling), this is a cross between a cake, drop biscuits and cobbler.  (does that sound odd?).  my favorite  is from the book Rustic Fruit Desserts by cory schreiber and julie richardson.  their version is delicious, but made with white flour and sugar.  i experimented a lot and tweaked the original to create my recipe which follows their exact directions, but is made with white whole wheat flour**, cornmeal, coconut sugar and coconut.  you can use any type of fruit...they used stone fruit. today i am using strawberries and blueberries.

when you make this recipe for the first time you will be surprised by the dough.  it will be very soft, almost cookie dough like.  that is the way it is supposed to be.  just wrap it in plastic, pat down to form a 1 inch thick disk and freeze for 1/2 hour.  here is a tip from me....double or triple the dough recipe and keep in the freezer.  you will want to make tea cakes all summer...nothing is easier than pulling the prepared dough out of the freezer...patting into the pan, piling in the fruit and baking.  served with ice cream, whipped cream or just as is, you will eat this often!  happy summer everyone.

mixed berry tea cake
adapted from "rustic fruit desserts"
(serves 10-12)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups white whole wheat flour**
1/4 cup cornmeal, finely ground
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 eggs
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 pints ripe strawberries, halved
1 pint blueberries
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
1 tbsp coconut sugar

Whisk flour, cornmeal,baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Using a handheld mixer with beater or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream sugar and butter together on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition, then stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir just until a smooth dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, flatten into a 1-inch-thick disk, and freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a shallow 10-inch round baking pan, tart pan or fluted pie pan.
Divide the dough into two equal portions and pat one portion evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread fruit over the dough. Sprinkle coconut over fruit. Break remainder of the dough into tablespoon-size pieces and distribute atop the fruit, then sprinkle the tbsp coconut sugar over the dessert.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Storage: Wrapped in plastic wrap, this tea cake will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. (The top will soften a bit.) You can also freeze the unbaked dough; if wrapped well, it will keep for up to 3 months. You can freeze a whole, unbaked cake with fruit (again, wrapped well) for 1 month.
** i love unbleached white whole wheat flour, whole wheat which has been milled from the lightest wheat kernels...so light they are almost white. contains all the fiber and nutrients of regular whole wheat but lighter in color and taste. note...this is not white flour...the color is light brown when baked. i like the king arthur brand**

it is "berries" week at food network's summerfest roundup. check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends. have a favorite berry recipe?  share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one:

Feed Me Phoebe: Gluten-Free Blueberry-Almond Pancakes
The Lemon Bowl: Strawberry Mango Chia Smoothie
Dishin & Dishes: Crunchy Topped Blueberry White Chocolate Muffins
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Gingered Blueberry Shortcakes With Light Creamy Topping
Taste With The Eyes: Blueberry Limoncello Pavlova
Sweet Life Bake: Paletas de Fresca y Aguacate
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Mixed Berry Tea Cake 
Red or Green?: Strawberry & Blueberry Crisp (Red or Green-style)
Virtually Homemade: Blueberry Mint Margaritas
Haute Apple Pie: Triple Berry Ice Cream
Pinch My Salt: Strawberry Peach Cobbler With Almond Biscuit Topping
Cooking With Elise: Dehydrating Blueberries, Plus Blueberry and White Chocolate Cookies
Devour: Four Healthy Berry Recipes
Domesticate Me: Summer Berry Crisp
Weelicious: Brainy Breakfast
The Sensitive Epicure: Strawberries With White Balsamic Vinegar Caramel, Orange Zest and Black Pepper
Daily*Dishin: Fresh and Easy Blueberry Pie
From My Corner of Saratoga: Mixed Berry Freezer Pops
FN Dish: Wake Up With Berries

napa farmhouse 1885
red or green?
california girl in taos

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