blackberry buttermilk cake with blackberry compote

June has sneaked right up on me. I knew it was coming, but that doesn’t make it any less surprising to find that the month of May has come to an end so quickly. June brings lots of events this year — my daughter’s last day of kindergarten, a trip to Chicago, our wedding anniversary, a trip to Las Vegas, and my mom’s (and her twin sister’s) birthday. And, with another month gone by comes another chance to pay homage to that great lost food-lovers’ magazine, Gourmet, with a recipe from June of years past for gourmet, unbound.

I decided to make a pair of recipes this month, instead of just one. It just made sense to prepare both. One seemed quite lonely without the other. The blackberry buttermilk cake was inspired by the raspberry buttermilk cake from the June 2009 issue, and the blackberry compote comes from the June 2000 issue.

I grew up eating the wild blackberries that grew in the woods surrounding my childhood home. I vividly remember hot Florida summers, getting scratched by the thorny brambles of the blackberry bushes, purple-stained fingers and lips, the sweet taste of the so-dark-purple-they-were-almost-black blackberries.

I recruited my most enthusiastic kitchen helper for assistance with this cake, and she did a fabulous job. She poured, mixed, greased the pan, placed the blackberries on the cake, and sprinkled sugar on top. She even gave me huge warm fuzzies when she told me she loved cooking with me. It made my afternoon all the more sweet.

This cake is fairly subtle, sweet but not oversweet. It’s the perfect light dessert to serve in the summer or with brunch. The compote really makes the dish, so don’t leave that part out.

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Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

(Recipe only slightly adapted from this recipe in the June 2009 issue of Gourmet. I used blackberries instead of raspberries, and I added some orange flower water to the wet ingredients. Makes 6 servings.)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange flower water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries (about 5 ounces)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in the middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. (Consider using a round of parchment in the bottom of the pan; I didn’t and I had some problems with the cake sticking.)
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then beat in vanilla and orange flower water. Add egg and beat well.
  4. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
  5. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
  6. Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate. Serve with blackberry compote.

Blackberry Compote

(Recipe from the June 2000 issue of Gourmet. This can be made ahead and kept covered and chilled for up to 4 days. Makes about 2 cups.)

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 whole allspice
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (about 15 ounces, fresh)
  1. Bring water, sugar, lemon juice, and allspice to a boil in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Cool syrup to lukewarm and discard allspice.
  2. Purée 2 cups blackberries with all of syrup in a blender. Force purée through a fine sieve into a bowl to remove seeds. Stir remaining cup of berries into sauce; or, if not serving immediately, stir the whole berries in just prior to serving.
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21 Responses to “blueberry ice cream pie”

  1. Brian @ A Thought For Food — June 13, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

    I always make desserts when I know i have people around to help eat it. And I know this is another one that I wouldn’t dare make without a room full of friends.

  2. Chris — June 13, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

    Holy moly…I can’t believe you picked so many blueberries! How fun! Love this pie. It made see the inside of my kitchen since I have berries I need to use…:)

  3. Macaroni Mama — June 13, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

    That pie looks scrumptious!

  4. Liren — June 13, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

    This is why we need to be neighbors – because then I’d be over in a snap to help you eat the pie! I know my family would help out, too 🙂 I’ll have to try this one soon, I know it would be a winner.

  5. DessertForTwo — June 14, 2011 @ 12:58 am

    Your daughter calling everything horse meat cracked me up! I hope she doesn’t tell her teachers y’all eat horse for dinner!! lol

    I too have been burned by pick-yer-own fruit stands. It’s so expensive because the grower is allowing you on their land–all the pests and weed seeds that you bring with you can hurt the plants, and also improper picking can damage the plants and make them yield less next year. It’s a risk to let strangers into your fields. But $43?! Wow. Hope they’re good. At least the memories are good 🙂

  6. Megan Gordon — June 14, 2011 @ 2:36 am

    I think it’s pretty darn attractive to photograph! Looks fantastic…and I’m searching for a good July 4th dessert to make for my extended family and I think this would be great. Pie + ice cream = happy. Thank you 🙂

  7. Kate @ Savour Fare — June 14, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

    I think it looks gorgeous! Blueberry pie is one of my favorites.

  8. Donna@NothingChocolate — June 14, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    Gorgeous pie, gorgeous photos! I have never had blueberry pie. I have never even made a home-made pie! I’ll hold onto this one. Really looks amazing!
    You are the best mom!

  9. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — June 14, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

    This looks so good! The crust looks awesome with oats and almonds, I bet it is so tasty!

  10. Maria Raynal — June 15, 2011 @ 6:16 am

    Delectable. The crust sounds especially gorgeous, and maybe even adaptable to certain savory recipes (like a cheese/veggie crumble/tart for brunch??). And, any day where one is deemed Best Mommy in the World, even if for a shining few moments, is a grand day in my book.

  11. Tina@flourtrader — June 15, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    I just love the presentation and all the yummy layers. Bring on the blueberries-thanks for sharing such a delicious dessert. Buzz

  12. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — June 15, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

    Yum! I love all of the pretty layers of this ice cream pie! So pretty, and I’m sure it’s equally as tasty!

  13. This looks amazing. I must make this. Gorgeous!

  14. Gail — June 16, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

    Perfect dessert for a hot, sultry summer night, best eaten at dusk when the lightning bugs start to hover above the grass.

    Thanks, MJ!!!!!

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  16. Aggie — June 18, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    Oh my heaven. This is my kind of pie. It would be dangerously overwhelming for our family of 4 too. I have a feeling I could do some serious damage to it.

    I had to laugh at your daughter saying “horse”! that is so funny!!

  17. Linda — June 20, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    This photographed just fine, by the way. I’m going to try it as just ice cream because we aren’t really pie people….well, Hubby isn’t anyway. heh heh. But I think I can win him over to pie with this one. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Katie @ Healthnut Foodie — June 23, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

    This pie looks incredibly good!!! However, my favorite part of the post was when you mentioned your little one’s read you magazines with you. My 3-year-old is precious when it comes to pouring over the food pages with me. Melts my heart every time! I am bookmarking this recipe and your blog! 🙂

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