I love fruit, pretty much all kinds. Yes, if asked, “what’s your favorite food?” I’d probably just say “fruit.” If pressed for more specifics, “a berry.” My dad talks about his travels to east Asia and the delicious types of fruit only available there. I can only imagine. Being in the Pacific Northwest again provides many opportunities. Suddenly there is a bounty of fruit.
For many people, this is where canning would come in. That’s a great option, but I prefer immediate access when possible. Combining these fruits is a great way to mix the flavors, crisp, tender, sweet, tart and tangy.
Often I use lemon juice as a dressing and even add some of the zest, but there wasn’t much at hand. The next best citrus available was orange juice. I spotted the raspberry jam as well in the fridge, and thought I’d tie it together.
Recipe Type: dessert, side
Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 10 mins
- 4 small peaches or nectarines, pitted and cut to small pieces
- 4 small red plums, pitted and halved
- 4 small green plums, pitted and halved
- 1 small Asian Pear, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1/4 cup of orange juice
- 1 Tablespoons raspberry jam
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Wash and prepare the fruit and combine in a large serving dish.
- Sprinkle sugar over fruit and mix.
- Stir orange juice and jam together until combined and pour over fruit.
- Chill in refrigerator before serving.
Last summer, little E and I went raspberry picking. I wasn’t sure how it would go with a (then) 2 1/2 year old. Would he be distracted by a mud puddle? Would more raspberries end up in his belly than the pail (as happened in his favorite Blueberries for Sal?) But he impressed me. He quickly learned to avoid the unripe berries, and though there were a few blushing yellow berries that plunked, stem and all, into our buckets, all in all we had a good haul. I spread the berries on a cookie sheet and froze them individually, and then slid them into a bag.
One cup of these beehive-shaped fruits remained from our excursion together, just enough for a simple winter snacking cake inspired by a recipe from the Gourmet archives (and which was featured by Daniel). Just barely sweet, homey, and tender. This is not a fancy cake, but rather like a cozy blanket to snuggle into when spring is just stubbornly not coming. The berries cook down into intense pockets of jam scattered throughout the moist crumb. Rather than frosting, sugar sprinkled over the top melts into a subtly crunchy crust.
An everyday cake for any day of the week, with maybe a dab of whipped cream or creme fraiche to dress it up for Saturday night. But me and little E enjoyed it straight out of the pan.
Yogurt Raspberry Cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt (if using thick yogurt, thin with a little milk)
- 1 cup frozen raspberries, defrosted, or fresh
- 1 1/2T brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking power and salt togther, then set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the egg and then the vanilla. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat in, then 1/2 the yogurt, then add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the rest of the yogurt. Stir in the last of the flour mix, but only until it’s just mixed in. Spread the batter into the prepared cake pan. Cast the berriees over the top, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake the cake until it is golden and a tester comes out clean (about 25 or 30 minutes). Allow to cool in the pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack. Allow to cool another 10 minutes or so and enjoy warm.