Dear GrowingUpJulia Readers,
I am pleased to announce that today I am posting our first guest post from the fabulous Ms. Kippy Rudy. I’ve been very busy with campaigning and to keep me fueled, Kippy has been kind enough to keep dropping off food for me. My favorite treat is her blueberry cake. Wild Maine Blueberries are one of my guilty pleasures. I can eat pint after pint. My mother used to run a commercial blueberry field and I grew up learning how to rake them and process them. Although, I always got in trouble for eating about half of what I harvested. So naturally I have an extreme fondness for anything blueberry. That’s why I asked Kippy if she would be willing to jot down her blueberry cake recipe. So without further ado I present “Gram Goodine’s Blueberry Cake.”
Mattie has been busy campaigning and has sadly had little time to cook. So without her around to interfere and try to improve upon the recipe with shaved chocolate or imported figs, I decided to make my great-grandmother’s blueberry cake and post it for you all to enjoy.
Now we should be clear on a few things. Blueberry cake is a traditional Maine summer dessert, made with the small, sweet wild berries that cover our mountains and fields every August (or earlier this summer). While you can find blueberries in other places – and even the grocery store – I have never seen blueberry cake anyplace else. And you certainly can’t make it with those giant cultivated blueberries that look as though they were doused in steroids but lack intense the flavor of our native berries. Some things are just best they way they have always been.
Secondly, I did not come from a family with generations of traditions and heirlooms and favorite recipes. This is it for the recipes that go back past my mother. I am told that others in the family had not asked Gram for the recipe, which I attribute to laziness and lack of curiosity. So when I finally asked, it took a little prodding, including the encouragement of her sister, my Aunt Ruth. She wrote it down and Ruth grabbed it. Having made the cake her entire life (and she was well into her 90s at the time), Ruth immediately noticed that Gram had altered the recipe. I just don’t think she could bear anyone replicating her legendary blueberry cake. Ruth corrected the ratio of flour and it was given to me, with both sisters’ notes.
So in honor of Gram Goodine and all the proud women who wanted to be generous with their favorite recipes but just couldn’t bring themselves to do so, I give you traditional Maine blueberry cake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- 2 c fresh wild Maine blueberries
- 2 c flour (Gram said 3—I wouldn’t trust her though)
- 2 c sugar (I find it works well with 1 ½)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 c milk
- 1/3 c vegetable oil
- ½ tsp vanilla
Dust the blueberries in flour and set aside. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a second bowl. Combine mixtures, and when thoroughly blended, add the blueberries. Pour into a greased 9 inch square baking dish and bake for 45 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When cool, sprinkle top with sugar.
Every summer I make dozens of the cakes (two to four at a time) and freeze them for the winter. They store and defrost beautifully and I can easily mail them frozen to my daughter away at school. Just hold off on the sugar sprinkled on top until you are ready to serve.