Blueberries – Part 1

 Christina of A Thinking Stomach asked me recently which fruit or veg in my garden was my favourite.  I gave her a very vague answer naming pretty much everything that I’ve grown this year.  Grower’s pride, you know?  Here and now, I would like to amend that wishy washy answer: blueberries are my favourite crop.

Blueberries.  Big, fat, purple (blue is a total misnomer), juicy, bouncy blueberries.  Sigh.  They are wonderful. 

Though there are only three blueberry bushes  in my garden and though this is their first year in my garden, the bushes have still produced a respectable amount of berries.  I had great plans for them but must admit that every single one of those berries was picked from the bush and immediately popped into my mouth.  My lack of self control has meant that the following cake and the next post’s recipe were made with bought blueberries.  :)

Before I share the recipe I must tell you one very important thing.  One thing which may actually put you off trying the recipe.  This cake only tastes good warm.  For some reason, the sponge becomes gritty and a little greasy when cold.  Warm it up and it is a moist, buttery, decadent treat.  Especially when topped with a blob of yogurt or cream.

 Lemon and Blueberry Polenta Cake

 250g caster sugar

250g soft butter

3 medium eggs

100g polenta

200g ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder

2 lemons, both zested, one juiced

200g blueberries

  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one by one, beating well to combine.
  • Add the polenta and almonds and fold in carefully.
  • Add the lemon zest and juice.  Fold in.
  • Line a buttered 23cm tin with baking paper.  Tip blueberries in so that they cover the bottom of the tin.  Top with the cake mixture.
  • Bake at 160oC for 1 hour.
  • Eat WARM with cream or yogurt.

22 thoughts on “Blueberries – Part 1

  1. Yum. Your blueberry shot is so pretty, with the reddish leaves and fruit in different stages of ripening. Lovely! I just bought my first blueberry plant, a special variety that supposedly can keep up with the heat of Southern California. If it doesn’t produce for me, I’ll just have to envy your blueberry bounty for even longer. Congratulations on a successful crop (and imagine how much it will grow as the plants become even more established)!

  2. Stunning, stunning photos, Wendy. I’m with you 100%, by the way – blueberries taste best and are best for you right off the bush, so bought blueberries for cooking makes perfect sense! The 3 bushes in your garden are prehaps to be thought of more as a snack bar.

    Polenta cake’s an odd beast isn’t it? I test recipes for it every now and then but am never completely satisfied with the texture. Maybe it’s the temperature thing, as you say with this particular cake. Thanks for the tip!

  3. hi wendy, your blueberries are fab! I have never made a cake with polenta in before, I am gonna try it next week before I go back to work,

  4. Christina – I wasn’t happy at all with these pictures. Am quite surprised that you and others like them! Good luck with your blueberries. :)

    Patricia – Thank you!

    Holler – Thank you to you too! Blueberries are definitely my favourite.

    Truffle – Got the idea from a friend who often makes Nigella’s rhubarb polenta cake. It’s divine!

    Rose – I’m very proud of it. :)

    Amanda – As mentioned above, Nigella does a rhubarb polenta cake and it doesn’t taste odd when cold. Don’t know what her secret is.

    Anh – I’m blueberry obsessed at the moment too!

    Megandog – Hope you enjoy it! Trust me on the warm thing!

  5. Ah, I’ve had the same from-shrub-to-mouth affliction with my newly planted raspberry bushes this year. :) Recipe looks great, and just picked up a big batch of blueberries last night…

  6. yum, that looks great – I have only tried one polenta and almond cake but it had lots of chocolate in it and almost puddingish. Will definitely add this to my gluten free recipes to try in summer – and I don’t blame you for eating your berries fresh from the garden – who can resist such a luxury?

  7. Terrific photos! I am envious of your blueberry plants. Blueberries are sooo expensive here. But I still can’t help forking out the money for them.

  8. Annemarie – It’s impossible to resist, I’ve found. :)

    Cynthia – Imagine I’ll try it again soon to try and make a good cold cake too.

    Maryanne – Welcome and thank you!

    Johanna – Not me!

    Nora – Totally understand. Frozen blueberries just aren’t the same but I do tend to buy a lot of those in winter to keep me going!

  9. I’ve just discovered your blog. A what a delight! My mum has blueberry bushes in her garden too. Although there weren’t enough blueberries to make a cake (due to too much nibbling).

  10. Wendy – I’m hoping to have some blueberries next summer and want to source my plants locally. Do you have any recommendations for the best place to buy (I’m near Stirling).

  11. Kath – Hello and welcome. I’m up in Inverness and bought my plants at a local nursery (can’t remember the name) which specialises in fruit trees/bushes. Assuming the Highlands is a bit far for you to travel to buy blueberry bushes? If you do want to know the details let me know and I’ll find out for you.

  12. Wendy, this sounds like a great cake and i am not surprised that it is only good warm as whenever i used to make blueberry muffins the boys would wolf them down when they came out of the oven but point blank refuse them the next day. I have made a rhubarb and polenta cake which is much nicer cold than warm. Strange. I wonder if it is the polenta or the rhubarb? Haven’t made either of these cakes here yet. p.s. when we were wee we used to call these bushes blaeberry bushes and until i read your post i didn’t realise that they were the same fruit. Whenever we went to Landmark with the boys we tried to go in May so that we could eat free blaeberries!

  13. Shona – Hello! It’s quite exciting to see a comment from you here. :) You know, I actually got the idea for this cake from the rhubarb polenta cake you made and brought into school!
    Just googled blaeberry and blueberry and think that the former is just the European version of the latter. I think…

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