Hey, y’all. I’m trying to bake around workmen in my kitchen and I’ve got way to much on my mind. My cousin’s wife underwent her second surgery this morning continuing her battle with cancer. Prayers, please. Also, I learned earlier today that a dear, dear friend from our first college days suffered a major heart attack and is having major bypass and open heart surgery. Both fabulous women are too young and healthy for this. So I bake. I listen to comfort music which, today, is Puerto Rican salsa, bomba and plena. My mind wanders as I murmur the lyrics to the song streaming, one of my favorite songs ever, “En Mi Viejo San Juan”, In My Old San Juan. It’s a terribly sad song but fits my mood. I reassure myself with drifting thoughts of old neighbors who lived on my grandparent’s street close to the University of Puerto Rico. Sonia, who lives catty-corner across the street, and hosted us for finger sandwiches and champagne. Those were lovely afternoons spent in her gorgeous Spanish style villa laughing, gossiping and sharing our plans for the future. Dona Angelita and Don Juan Orta lived next door to us and had Cynthia and me over for dinner often. They were okay but the person in their household I adored was Tata, the housekeeper who was more like a servant considering the way they treated her. I loved Tata!
She told me a story of a typical idyllic Caribbean morning which found her sweeping the Orta’s back courtyard, birds were singing and lemon yellow alamandas were in full bloom, rambling up the back wall of the cottage where she lived… she was lost in her thoughts. Out of the blue she heard a small but happy voice from above singing and calling out, “Hiiiiii! Hiiiiii! Hiiiii!”. Tata looked up to the second floor of our house and told me she saw two fat little hands stuck out of the window waving madly at her. It was me. In my crib. And that’s when we fell in love. She was the sweetest thing. She always made certain I was included when all the little girls played fairies and witches. When serving at the table, Tata always took care not to put any beans on my rice…just sauce and the only way I would eat them. Her hugs were strong but gentle and I liked it when she sat down and allowed me to climb in her lap. Today that gives me quiet comfort. It’ll all be okay. Everything will work out. Joy comes in the morning.
This is a super easy breakfast cake that is truly forgiving. Fresh or frozen blueberries may be used. If y’all haven’t tried Costco brand frozen blueberries you’re in for a treat. They’re harvested in Canada and they’re just like the blueberries you find in Maine… small, juicy nuggets bursting with fresh flavor.
Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt, plain, full-fat (buy an individual serving cup if you don’t need a large container) or buttermilk, full fat
- 2 cups blueberries, divided, fresh or frozen
- Pre-heat oven to 350°. Cover an 8X8-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Cover the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, spray paper and set pan aside.
- Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
- In a medium size bowl add butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add egg, vanilla, lemon juice and zest and beat until well combined.
- To the egg mixture add half the flour and mix until just combined scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the yoghurt or buttermilk and stir in until combined.
- Add the remaining flour and stir until just combined.
- Gently spread 1/3 of batter over the bottom of the baking pan.
- Scatter 1 cup of blueberries evenly over batter.
- Gently spread remaining batter evenly in pan, making certain to cover corners.
- Scatter second cup of blueberries over the batter and, with the palm of your clean hand, gently press the berries into the batter.
- Bake 45-50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean from the center of the cake.
- Cool on rack for 10-15 minutes. Remove from baking pan and continue cooling on rack for 30-40 minutes.
- Cut in fat squares and serve warm, at room temperature or cold.