Monday, July 1, 2013

Double Berry Cornmeal Butter Cake

It's amazing the random little things about your childhood that you hold on to in the recesses of your mind. I went to buy cornmeal for this recipe, and had three tiny, seemingly insignificant memories pop up-- all associated with cornmeal and my mother.

One: I remember that my mom would always have one of those small blue boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix in the cabinet. I remember that she would bake them up in a square pan, slice them, fry them up in a skillet, and serve them with eggs and corn beef hash. And I remember it was delicious.

Two: We would always get those miniature loaves of cornbread from Boston Market when we would get dinner to-go on weeknights. I think my mother and I ate all of them... leaving none for my dad and brother (who seemingly did not care for them-- in retrospect, I wonder if they just didn't stand a chance).

Three: When I was younger, we would spend every Thanksgiving break in California. A favorite place to eat was Marie Callendar's. My brother would always ask to go for the chocolate cream pie (I have yet to find a recipe that will knock his socks off like that pie-- don't worry, Daniel, I'm looking!). I don't remember what my dad would order. But my mother and I, no matter what we ordered, would each ask for a side of their sweet, crumbly cornbread. It came in a GIANT slice, with a tub of cinnamon honey butter. I remember "stealing" my mom's honey butter when I ran out (because, as a young child, my butter-to-bread ratio was always off). 

Now I know that my mom totally let me take her butter-- because that's the kind of woman she is.

This cornmeal butter cake is for my mom, for her birthday-- I wish I could be home to celebrate with her today.

Oh, and thanks for letting me steal your butter.

Double Berry Cornmeal Butter Cake

Adapted slightly from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

For the cake:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Grated zest of one lemon
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries

Fot the streusel:
1/2 cup sugar
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 tbsp yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp table salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray an 8" round cake pan with baking spray and set aside.

In a bowl whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and the lemon zest. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until mixed; add in sour cream, combine, and then add another 1/3 of the flour.

In another bowl, toss the last third of the flour mixture with the berries. Carefully fold the berries and flour into the batter so that the berries don't get crushed. Pour batter into the pan.

For the streusel, combine all the dry ingredients, and stir in the butter; mix until crumbly. Using your hands, crumble streusel over the top of the cake, leaving clumpy (those are the delicious parts!). Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and set. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and serve warm with vanilla ice cream for the perfect summer BBQ treat.

1 comment:

  1. this is so sweet Allie! :) happy birthday to your mum!