Monday, 30 November 2009
There is no doubt in my mind that blueberries and lemons go together like . . . well, peas and carrots!!
I grew up in rural Nova Scotia, a very small province in Canada with a distinctly maritime climate . . . and ditches and fields just chock full of wild blueberries in late summer and early autumn. Wild blueberries were always something I had taken very much for granted when I was a child, and even as an adult . . .
until I couldn't get them anymore. That is when we seem to miss things the most . . . when they are seemingly out of our reach.
It is my dream to visit home again one summer . . . when the corn is ripe for the picking and eating . . . and when the wild blueberries once again are deep purple and growing profusely in the brush along the bye ways and highways of my beautiful home province.
We do have cultivated berries here, and they are quite tasty . . . but nothing ever comes quite up to that beautiful taste of the wild berry, all that fruity flavour concentrated into a small juicy berry no larger than the tip of my baby finger . . . ahh . . . bliss.
We do get wild blueberry preserves over here though, and they are quite tasty in a pinch! I love them on my toast in the morning and spread onto fluffy buttermilk pancakes . . . all warm and stodgy good, with melted butter gilding and soaking into their lace like crisp edges.
Sometimes for a treat on a Sunday afternoon, I make us a lovely jelly roll, or Swiss roll as it is called over here in the UK . . . and I spread it through the middle with sweet and tasty wild blueberry preserves . . .
I like to eat it with my fingers, and while I eat . . . I dream of August days when the air is dry and hot . . . and filled with the sounds of humming insects . . .
of ice cream buckets filled to over flowing with wild blueberries . . . the smell of wild brush in the heat of the sun . . . fingers and teeth stained blue from our exertions . . . aching backs after hours spent hunched over in this glorious labour of love . . . and . . . well . . .
of home . . .
*Lemon Scented Blueberry Swiss Roll*
Makes one 12 inch roll
This swiss roll has to be one of the easiest and quickest cakes in the world! You can have the cake mixed together, baked and cooling on the countertop in less than 15 minutes!
For the cake:
3 large free range eggs
5 ounces caster sugar
2 TBS milk
the finely grated zest of one un-waxed lemon
5 ounces plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
a handful of slivered almonds
caster sugar for rolling
1/2 pint of blueberry preserves
Pre-heat the oven to 230*C/450*F. Line a swiss roll pan (8 by 12 inches) with greaseproof paper and set aside.
Break the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar. Beat together with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the milk and the lemon zest. Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Fold this into the egg mixture, making sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the slivered almonds on top.
Bake for about 5 minutes in the centre of the oven. Cake is done when lightly browned and when it springs back when lightly touched.
Have a sheet of grease proof paper ready on which you have sprinkled more caster sugar. Remove the cake from the oven and turn out immediately onto the sugar coated paper. Carefully peel off the greaseproof from the baked cake. Roll up the cake in the caster sugar covered paper, from one long side towards the other, tucking in the first long side tightly. Set aside and allow to cool completely before proceeding.
Once the cake is cooled, unroll and spread with the blueberry preserves. Reroll. Cut into 1/2 inch thick slices to serve.
hmmm . . . the thought just occurs to me that this would be lovely in a lemon trifle . . . stay tuned!!