While growing up on the farm, one of my summer jobs was chopping peanuts – or, clean weeds and grass from around the peanut plant. Unfortunately, there were times I actually chopped up the peanut plant. I quickly learned these would not take root by replanting them and that my father did not take too kindly to the fact that I had destroyed a bit of his money crop.
As a matter of self-preservation, I sought a place near my assigned peanut field where I could absolve myself of guilt by getting rid of the evidence. There was a fairly large ditch that separated my field from the pasture where our cows grazed. My fear of discovering things slithering in that ditch were far outweighed by the fear of my father’s wrath, so I chanced taking any slashed peanut plant to the ditch immediately after a miscue.
What I found, instead, was a bush of berries that were too tempting to resist even though my brother and I had been warned repeatedly not to eat anything that grew wild unless we first cleared it with my father. Just one can’t hurt anything, I remember thinking; however, these berries were so delicious I ate until I was about to burst. Fortunately, they turned out to be wild blackberries and not something poisonous.
As it turns out, I was so into the blackberries, I did not hear my father come up behind me. Not only did I almost have a heart attack when he touched me on the shoulder, I got a double punishment as I had forgotten all about disposing of the peanut plant when I discovered the blackberries – first punishment for chopping up yet another part of his money crop; second punishment for eating wild berries without first being sure they were safe.
I never eat anything with blackberries in it without being reminded of that day which brings me to this recipe for blackberry coffee cake. You can wrap it up tightly and tuck it away in your freezer for up to two months to serve when unexpected guests drop by.
This recipe, and many others, can be found in Betty Crocker: The Big Book of Breakfast and Brunch.
For the filling:
- 1 1/4 cups frozen blackberries, thawed and well drained
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the coffee cake:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 container (8 ounce) sour cream
For the glaze:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 – 4 teaspoons water
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease bottom and side of 10-inch angel food (tube) cake pan with shortening; lightly flour.
- In small bowl, stir together filling ingredients; set aside.
- In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.
- In large bowl, beat 1¼ cups granulated sugar, the butter, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
- On low speed, alternately add flour mixture with sour cream, beating just until blended after each addition.
- Spread one-third of the batter in pan; sprinkle with half of the filling.
- Spoon another one-third of the batter by tablespoonfuls over filling; sprinkle with remaining filling.
- Spoon remaining batter over filling; spread evenly.
- Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack.
- Cool completely, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
- In small bowl, mix glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.
- Drizzle glaze over coffee cake.