Heidi Strawn
February 18, 2009

Mixed Berry Coffee CakeSummer fruits let us eat like royalty. At the height of summer, it seems that everywhere a farm cook looks, there’s an abundance of delicious fruit. Melons ripening on the vine, sun-warmed berries scenting the air, stone fruits glowing like jewels amid glossy green leaves: What can compare to this kind of treasure?

1 1/2 cups fresh berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and/or blackberries
2 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
4 T. butter
1 egg, beaten
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

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¼ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
2 T. butter

In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, bring berries, lemon juice and ¼ cup water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir together cornstarch and 1/4 cup of sugar, being sure to break up lumps in the cornstarch. Stir into fruit mixture.

Increasing heat slightly, cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir two minutes more. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together remaining ½ cup sugar, flour, baking powder and soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. In a separate bowl, stir together egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir just until moistened.

Spread half of the batter in an 8- by 8-inch baking pan. Spread fruit mixture over batter. Drop remaining batter in small mounds on top of the filling.

For the topping, stir together flour and sugar. Cut in butter to form crumbly mixture. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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