Friday, September 30, 2011

Blackberry Jam Cake

So what should you do with all those blackberries you picked and stored away? Make jam? That's a thought. But that's a lot of jam to go through. Although, if I had actually been lucky enough to find time to pick blackberries, I would have my freezer full of whole blackberries and freezer jam! Here's an idea to use up some of that jam - or you can just do what I did and buy a jar of blackberry jam for this made from scratch Blackberry Jam Cake.

The day wrote down the Buttermilk Pecan Pie recipe from P. Allen Smith's Garden Home show, I also rushed to copy this recipe (it's not easy to write down a recipe while watching a cooking show). As soon as I heard "old fashioned Blackberry Jam Cake" I knew I had to try it. Allen Smith described it as a "delicious coarse country cake". The Blackberry Jam Cake recipe is below, but you can get a printable copy at the P. Allen Smith website.

I just have to say, remember to add ALL the ingredients. The first time I made this (yesterday) it smelled WONDERFUL - almost like gingerbread. In fact, The Boy is the one that asked if I was making gingerbread because the whole house smelled like it. But while the cake was cooling on the rack, I looked down at the recipe again and realized I had forgotten to add the sugar!!! Mr. LH said it might taste more like bread, but with 2 CUPS OF BROWN SUGAR missing, I doubted it. It wasn't a "spit it out your mouth" kind of cake, but it sure didn't taste like anything I wanted to serve. So first thing this morning, I got the additional ingredients I needed to make the cake again WITH THE SUGAR.

Blackberry Jam Cake
From P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home

1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon, ground
2 tsp. nutmeg, ground
1 cup raisins
2 tsp. nutmeg, ground
6 eggs, room temperature
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup black walnuts, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, salted, softened
2 cups blackberry jam, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature

1 tube pan or large bundt pan

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flower a large tube pan or bundt pan, or use a flour-based baking spray such as Baker's Joy. Set the pan aside.

Separate the eggs, putting the yolks and whites in different mixing bowls. I another large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a small bowl, mix ½ cup of the flour mixture with the black walnuts and raisins.

Add the brown sugar, butter, and blackberry jam to the egg yolks, and stir together thoroughly. Stir in the buttermilk. Add the flour mixture.

Beat the egg whites until they turn white but are loose and runny, not too "airy." Fold the egg whites into the batter. Then mix the nuts and raisins, blending only enough so that they are equally distributed in the batter.

Pour the batter into the tube pan and bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, it's done.

Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Then loosen the cake from the sides of the pan by running a knife around the edge. Invert a cake plate over the pan, and invert the tow together. Lift off the tube pan.

Slice and serve. (And enjoy! It's YUMMY!)

Mmmm! You can see the walnuts and raisins...
P. Allen smith drizzles an easy Caramel Icing over his (and one of these days, maybe for the holidays, I'll try it), but I just dusted mine with powdered sugar.

Personal Notes:
I greased and floured the pan the first time and used the flour based baking spray the 2nd time. Both worked well and neither of the cakes stuck to the pan.

The first time I made this cake, I put it all into my Bundt Pan. I wasn't sure if it would be big enough and the cake did rise high above the rim. It also baked for the full 1 1/2 hours.

sugar-less cake after baking
The second time I made this, since I actually PUT IN THE SUGAR (sigh), I had more batter. I decided to play it safe. Instead of loading it all into my Bundt pan and hoping it wouldn't spill over, I put some of the batter in my mini bundt pans (about 2/3 cup of batter for each of the 6 cavities and a 42 minute baking time) and the rest in my large bundt pan (1hr. 10 min. baking time). If you don't have mini bundt pans and only a normal sized bundt pan (instead of an extra large one) like me (I don't think I've even seen one larger than mine available anywhere anyway), you can put all your batter in a tube pan since they are very large. You just won't have the decorative top as you would with the bundt pan.

The second batch (with the sugar included) did not rise like the first batch and the top looked "moist". I did make this recipe as instructed without taking into account the higher altitude. Next time I make it, I'll start adjusting the ingredients. Maybe all it needs is a couple tablespoons of flour.

Cake WITH sugar after baking
I loved the mini cakes...perfect for two people to share. I sent a couple to one of the neighborhood moms down the street.

Just as a side note, Mr. LH thought the sugarless cake was good and took a piece to work. What a sweetie :) In fact, I'm going to slice up the whole thing and stick it in the freezer for him to take to work. I wouldn't be surprised if it just hits the trash can as soon as he gets to work.

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