At the back of our yard is an unruly patch of wilderness we loosely refer to as “our garden”. We never seem to have the time to plant and tend anything worthwhile so the patch is overrun with leggy raspberry canes and prickly thistles. As bad as it sounds, it’s not a total bust. In one small corner of the patch, four little blueberry bushes are thriving and have produced a gorgeous crop of spicy, midnight-colored gems.
This surprising bounty is due wholly to Jay’s efforts. He is the blueberry whisperer and an all-around green thumb. He grows and tends to all the things and I take that raw potential and create art with it in my kitchen. This recent blueberry windfall is the perfect example. As soon as Jay brought the berries in from “our garden” I put butter on the counter to soften and then grabbed my camera to capture the dark beauty of the tiny fruit. After about a hundred shots of blueberries from every angle and degree of magnification, I got busy making the real magic – turning these berries and a few other humble ingredients into one of the finest coffee cakes in the history of the world.
Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake (Adapted from a recipe submitted to Taste of Home by Lori Snedden several years ago.)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Add egg, milk and butter. Beat well.
- Fold in blueberries and pecans.
- Spread batter into pan.
- In another bowl, combine the sugar and flour.
- Cut in the butter until crumbly.
- Sprinkle over batter.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.
I can’t really tell you what it is about this cake that makes it so good. The delicate crumb topping? The abundance of blueberries? The pecan chunks in every mouthful? Who knows. Maybe it really is magic. All I can say is that I’ve eaten four pieces of this cake in the last two days and I’m about to have another and my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Do yourself or those you love a favor, friend, and make this cake.