With this many years in cooking and catering—and please don’t ask how many—I often get this type of question: “Jorj, what would YOU bring to an event like ______ (fill in the blank).” I have to say that most people who approach me for advice in the “provisions” department have unique circumstances; for example, it is an outdoor event and they are worried how the food will hold up, or they are going to a party full of people with special dietary needs.
In the most recent case, it was a volunteer event on a blisteringly hot day in Florida. Everyone was going to be gardening! While I would happily have steered my friend toward pastry from one of my books like Sunday Best Dishes, her gardening party was on a Sunday after all, I have shared her zip code in Florida and the heat this time of year there is UNREAL. When you work outside there are bugs to contend with and a perspiration problem that even a hundred and ten tons of Gatorade cannot cure, not to mention close to 100% humidity—these are definitely conditions where an extremely detailed, painstaking cake recipe just would not be appreciated….soooooo, I passed down a very basic blueberry cake recipe and recommended she cut slabs of cake placing them in their own portable sleeves: like clean coffee filters! I am told the volunteers at the Coral Springs Community Garden liked the cake, and it seemed to make them smile more than the Dunkin Donuts that the ants were also fighting over that day!
his recipe produces one loaf per ½ pint of blueberries—while blueberries are best April through September in places like Maine, we can enjoy them year round, thanks to imports from Chile and Argentina. I checked the facts at the Blueberry Council!
Enjoy and take this to your next outdoor party!
Blueberry Sleeve Cake
Serving size: 1 loaf / serves 6
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- 2 cups flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chilled butter
- ¾ cup half and half
- 1 egg
- 1 cup blueberries
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter. You can use your electric mixer if you wish but mixing by hand works, too.
In a separate bowl, mix half and half and the egg; fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the blueberries and stir well, using a large spoon or spatula.
Coat a loaf pan with vegetable oil spray and pour in the batter. Bake for 30 minutes until the top of cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into its center comes out clean.