Holy moly, folks, it’s July! Where did the first half of this year go??
The last few days of June were perfect–no ‘Juneuary’ this year (or last year!). For those not in the PNW, June to July 4th is often a crazy, unpredictable weather time. It’s rainy and cool, sometimes downright cold, and the next day or later the same day, it’s sunny and warm. You never know what to wear, so you layer and pack a rain coat. Then, July 5th arrives and summer settles in for a couple of months, with its lovely long, sunny days and beautiful nights.
The best part about this time of year: berries and cherries take over the farmer’s markets around the same time! The next few weeks, I’ll be buying blackberries, tayberries, strawberries, blueberries, currants, and cherries. There will be shrub-, ice cream-, cake-, and cocktail-making, and there will be lots of berry eating.
Buttermilk Berry Cake
1/2 C (1 stick, 110 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 C (175 g) sugar
1/2 vanilla bean pod*
1 C (144 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 C (31 g) rye flour
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 tsp (2 g) baking soda
1/4 tsp(1.4 g) salt
3/4 C (180 g) buttermilk
1/4 pint (130 g) blackberries
1/2 large lemon, thinly sliced
- Butter and flour an 8-inch springform pan; line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper.
- Heat the oven to 350 °F.
- Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Combine butter and sugar in a bowl. Scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod and add the seeds to the butter and sugar. Mix on high for 5 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, beat well in between.
- Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Start and end with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined and there are no lumps.
- Arrange the berries and lemon slices on the buttered parchment paper.
- Pour cake batter over the fruit and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick poked in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove the cake from the pan by inverting on a plate and discard the parchment paper.
- Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. This is delicious the next day for breakfast, too!*Note: Don’t discard the vanilla bean pod! Store the scraped pod in a container of sugar to give the sugar a lovely vanilla flavor. If you don’t want to use a vanilla bean or don’t have one, substitute a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.