Imagine the horror of waking up to at least six pints of fresh blackberries waiting to be picked. That's what we woke up to after several days of what we felt was cool weather, complete with morning fog and even some mid-day overcast. Plans had been made to do "things" with the berries as they came ripe, which in past years is usually a manageable pint at a time.
Just a few days prior, a tick over a pint of blackberries came ripe, and those berries found their way into a blackberry-orange sorbet. We're hoarding that sorbet to turn into a hot summer day treat—sparkling wine over a scoop of sorbet in a champagne flute.
But six pints—oh my what will we do?
One of today's answers: an olive oil berry cake. The second answer: more sorbet, this time blackberry-lemon.
Sounds exotic, right? Sounds difficult, right? Well, yes and no.
Olive Oil Berry Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup olive oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- Fresh zest of one lemon
- Juice of one lemon (about a tablespoon)
- Total 1-1/2 cup fresh berries, in any combination (or no combination, like us today!)
- One or two fresh nectarines; whole berries for garnish
- Confectioner's sugar, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, place rack in center of oven. Grease a 9-inch springform pan sides with the olive oil; cut a round bottom from parchment paper and grease with olive oil. Wash and dry the fruit; if using strawberries, cut into bite-sized pieces. Any other berry can be left whole. (Note: if using frozen fruit, thaw and toss with a tablespoon or two of flour to soak up the liquid. It's best to let the frozen fruit thaw completely; if you don't, baking time will be lengthened.)
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the sugars and whisk together.
- In a second bowl, whisk together the olive oil, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and milk. Add the liquids to the flour and whisk until no longer lumpy. (Honestly, you can do this by hand. Don't even bother to take out a blender!)
- Gently fold the berries into the mix. Put batter into springform pan, making sure it's level. Place in center of oven and set timer for one hour. Check cake for doneness with a toothpick in the center. (Our cake took 1 hour, 10 minutes to cook. Go figure.)
- Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Gently run a butter knife around the rim of the springform pan, remove rim. Continue letting the cake cool.
- Once cool, slice the nectarine and arrange on top of cake. Dust with confectioner's sugar. if desired.