Right now, when the season is on and we have fresh blueberries (I mean "unfrozen" blueberries) in abundance, I try to use them in practically every meal, from morning cereal to a 2 a.m. nightcap.
One of my favorite blueberry recipes combines a good old no-nonsense kuchen dough from the Old World with glorious, gorgeous blueberries from the new. It's delicious warm, straight out of the oven, or cold. I like it with a tall glass of milk or buttermilk, with yogurt, with a glass of white wine, with a cold spritzer (a mixture of half wine and half club soda), or with a cold duck or sangria. This coffee cake is really quite versatile. It is not too sweet to accompany cold fried chicken, but sweet enough to be enjoyed with butter at coffee time.
The cake will serve 12, but 6 people with healthy appetites may be able to polish it off even before it cools. BLUEBERRY COFFEE CAKE (6 to 12 servings) For the dough: 2 cups sifted flour 1/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder Pinch of salt 1/3 cup butter, quite soft 3 large eggs For the filling 1 pint fresh blueberries, or 20-ounce package frozen unsweetened blueberries 1/3 cup sugar 1/4 cup flour For the topping: 1/3 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 2/3 cup sifted flour 1/2 cup butter cold
Method: First make the dough. Sift together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add salt, butter and eggs. Work mixture together with your hands until it forms a dough. Don't overwork. Press dough against bottom and sides of a lightly buttered 9-by-13-inch pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine ingredients for filling and sir to blend. Spoon evenly over dough.
To make topping, sift together sugar, cinnamon and flour. In a bowl, mix in butter with your fingertips until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle topping over filling. Bake 30 to 45 minutes or until crust is nicely browned. (If you bake in a glass pan it will be easier to check the color of the crust.)