There is a lot that the woods have to offer for the table. Amazing proteins, tasty mushrooms, and berries! Wild berries are fun, and are also beneficial to know about. Learning about the different berry seasons gives good insight into the local ecosystem, and can teach you a lot about animals. This year is looking good for berries and nuts, since it has been a warm year and hasn’t burdened the high country with late frosts. The trees seem to be fruiting beautifully, which is good for deer, bear, grouse and turkey. Which I hope to harvest each this year. So it gives me an idea of what to look for, and when. So to pass the time until the fall hunts, I will be spending some time wandering around scouting, and probably bringing some berries home….
My mother was a baker by trade, decorating and baking wedding cakes mostly. Though she always seemed to have fresh baked goods around. So when I think of berries, my sweet tooth starts screaming.
This is a classic pound cake, leavened only by the air incorporated from beating. It will work with any berry that may be in season, right now in early July, that’s Service Berry. Some may call them saskatoon, juneberry, sugarplum, wildplum, but they are members of the malinae subtribe, which consists of pomes like apples and pears. Digressing, they taste like normal berries, so that’s how I will use them.
- 2 sticks of butter (softened)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 cups of flower
- 4 eggs (room temp)
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 t lemon zest
- 1 t lemon juice
- 1 cup of berries
- almond slices for topping (if desired)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 T butter (softened)
- 1-2 T milk
- 1/4 t vanilla
Preheat oven to 350*F. Make sure all the ingredients are room temperature. Cream butter and sugar together in a mixer for 5 min on high.
Add eggs one at a time, scraping the sides a few times as needed. Proper incorporation will make a consistent mixture. When all the eggs are added scrape one last time, add lemon juice and zest, and then beat on high for 3 min. The only leaven this cake has is the air that is put into it while whipping the butter sugar and eggs, so make sure it is nice and fluffy!!!
Turn the mixer on medium, add salt, and then the flour a spoonful at a time. Do not overmix the flour, and only go until fully incorporated. When it is mixed, scrap the sides one time, add the berries and mix for 15 seconds more.
Butter and flour a loaf pan, and transfer batter to the pan. Spread it out evenly with an offset spatula and top of with almonds. (if desired) Place in oven and set time for 70-75 min., or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
When the loaf is done, pull out and let cool in the loaf pan for 25 min. Then remove and place on a cooling rack for 30 min.
Mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk until nice and smooth. When loaf is cooled properly, drizzle the desired amount on the loaf.
Get more berries! Repeat Step 1.