I leave for a week and come back to find that it’s the end of August. End of August? It has been many many years since I was on a school schedule, but I can’t help feeling like fall starts September 1st.
Our vacation was a little rough. On the whole, my family is very healthy. My brother Alex is prone to needing surgery (seriously, the guy has had over 10 surgeries and is only 35), but other than that, we are very rarely sick. For some reason, Sun Valley is the place where our immune systems fail us. Monday afternoon my brother Michael started to feel unwell and soon after I felt rotten too. I’ll spare you all the details but 6 of 11 of us came down with stomach flu and my brother and nephew ended up in the hospital needing fluids. Of my immediate family, only my 2 year old was spared which is a good thing in retrospect.
By the time we were all feeling back to normal, we only had two days left but we tried to make the most of it. My anniversary fell on the worst night of the plague but Randy and I were able to celebrate 7 years together a few nights later at one of our favorite spots. He took the boys to Redfish Lake – an incomparably beautiful spot – but I was unable to make it. I mostly just hung out. I did get my baked potato and it was huge and delicious.
This is the time of year when I start to feel summer pressure. I know fall is coming and yet there are so many light and summery recipes I didn’t get to. I must use corn and nectarines everyday…or so I feel. Before the nights get too cool and before the berries disappear from the markets, make this Mixed Berry Spoon Cake. You can vary the fruit, it’s easy, it feeds a crowd, and you can put your summer fruit guilt to rest.
One Year Ago: For Once, Not About Food – one of my very favorite posts
Mixed Berry Spoon Cake
Adapted from Food and Wine
To vary the filling here, use 4 pounds of stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, and apricots) cut into large wedges; or 4 pounds of plums, cut into 1-inch cubes; or 6 pints of blueberries plus 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. (DT: I used half blueberries and half raspberries.)
4 pints strawberries (2 pounds), hulled and quartered
2 pints blackberries (12 ounces)
2 pints raspberries (12 ounces)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1. Make the filling. In a bowl, toss the berries with the sugar and the cornstarch and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile make the batter: Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and vanilla. Whisk the liquid into the dry ingredients until even moistened, then whisk in the melted butter until smooth.
3. Spread the filling in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spoon the batter on top, leaving small gaps. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, until the fruit is bubbling and a toothpick inserted into the topping comes out clean. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.