Friday, January 6, 2012

Blueberry Slump

Here we are in the midst of winter and I’m dreaming about blueberries. So when I saw them at the market, I impulsively grabbed them for purchase. They’re not in season but I couldn’t resist. Blueberries just have their way.

With all the hubbub and festivity of the holidays behind us, it feels like a good time to get way back to the basics, so here I am with a Blueberry Slump. There are a lot of different old-fashioned recipes for fruit puddings and cakes that vary in the way the fruit and cake parts are co-mingled. A slump is somewhere in the same universe as a cobbler and a buckle, a sort of dumpling-cake-like pudding, which in the old days was steamed on top of the stove. This dessert is a happy combination of blueberries and bits of cake that get baked in the oven and emerge in a marbled swirl of light cake and juicy fruit.

The blueberries are simmered with some sugar just enough to coax out their inky jammy goodness. Then a good blast of lemon juice is added to keep the flavor bright. The cake is made with brown sugar and a jolt of cinnamon to make it all the more interesting. Once baked it really does seem to kind of all slump together, a welcome blueberry feast in January.

Bench notes:

- The sugar added to the blueberries is kept at a minimum to allow the fruit to shine. Add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste.
- I used cinnamon. I imagine other spices would work as well. I think cardamom would be great.
- The blueberry mixture, including juices, gets layered under and on top of batter. As it bakes, the cake rises and dances with the blueberries in an interesting way.
- You can make 4 large servings or 5 - 6 more modest servings. Watch baking time. Or bake in an 8" x 8" pan, which will take a bit longer. You'll know it's done when the fruit is bubbling and the cake springs back when lightly touched.
- This is really best served warm.
- I think this would be great with just about any sort of fruit. Adjust sugar and cornstarch accordingly, e.g., figs would probably not need any cornstarch and peaches might not need as much sugar.

Blueberry Slump

Serves 4 - 6

1/4 C sugar
1/4 C water
1 t cornstarch
12 oz blueberries (about 2 C)
1 T + 1 t lemon juice

1 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
heaping 1/4 t salt
1/2 C light brown sugar
2/3 C buttermilk
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 oz (4 T) butter, melted
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter 4 - 6 4 1/2” ramekins, depending on desired serving size. Place on a baking sheet.

For the blueberries, combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water and cornstarch in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Add blueberries and simmer over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 3 – 4 minutes or until the blueberries soften and release their juices. Take off the heat and add lemon juice. Set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and light brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg, melted butter and vanilla. Add flour mixture and whisk just until blended.

Scoop a heaping tablespoon of blueberries into the bottom of each ramekin.
Portion batter on top. Spoon remaining blueberry sauce over batter.

Bake for about 20 – 24 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Serve warm.


Victoria said...

This looks wonderful. I am thinking that a real English custard would top this beautifully.

Emma.Elisabeth said...

Would a different fruit such as raspberries work as well?

P.S. I've followed your blog for several years and adore everything you make. Thank you for all you do.

pastry studio said...

Victoria, I was thinking ice cream but that's about the same as saying real English custard, isn't it?!

Hello, Emma! So nice of you to comment and thanks very much for your support. I really appreciate it. YES, I meant to say something about substituting your favorite fruit in the bench notes but I guess I got distracted. THANKS for reminding me. I think just about any fruit would work. Cheers!

Bunny said...

Well you've got me wanting this very comfort looking blueberry slump. It looks terrific.

Barbara said...

I'm loving all your slumps, crisps and bettys! Something we usually think of as summer...but I can get fresh fruit in Florida year round, so appreciate all the recipes!

pastry studio said...

So nice to see you again, Bunny!

Barbara, you're so welcome! I'm just now discovering these old-fashioned desserts and finding them really delicious in their simplicity, especially in this season.

Javelin Warrior said...

This slump looks amazing and I’ve been inspired to feature it in my Friday Food Fetish roundup. And I'll be sharing on Pinterest. Please let me know if you have any objections and KEEP IT COMING!

pastry studio said...

Hi, JavelinWarrior. Great to hear your feedback!! No problem featuring my work as long as you link back. Thank you very much.

Kaitlin said...

Hello! I wanted to make something sweet, with fruit, and I came across this! It looks amazing!! I got the stuff to try it out today :)
Thank You for the Recipes =)

Bryan said...

hellllo long-weekend baking.

i really love these kinds of small portioned fruit pudding-like cakes.
it reminds me a little of the strawberry crumbcake, which was stellar.
i have frozen huckleberries that will be perfect for this.

Brian Cooper said...

How would you suggest doing this with apples?

pastry studio said...

Brian, I'd suggest you peel, core and cut 2 large or 3 medium apples into 1/4" slices and saute them in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of sugar, depending on how sweet your apples are. Add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and some cinnamon if you'd like. Cover and simmer for about 8 - 10 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of flour and toss thoroughly. Distribute all the apples in the bottom of ramekins or in the bottom of an 8" square baking dish. Top with the cake batter and bake for about 20 – 24 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Brian Cooper said...

What kind of apples? Sweet or sour or is it a matter of taste?

pastry studio said...

Brian, so sorry I didn't mention the type of apples. I like to use Fuji or Granny Smith because they hold up to baking well. Fujis are sweeter than Granny Smith, so choose according to taste and sweeten according to you own preference.