I’m sort of embarrassed to say that I cooked absolutely nothing last week. Maybe a cheese quesadilla or two for my kids but that is kind of it. Randy was out of town for three nights and I had plans out for two nights plus a date night on Friday. (Fine, I did make myself a baked potato on Wednesday night, but that hardly qualifies as cooking, right?). While it is nice to have a break from the kitchen from time to time, I really do like to cook and I miss it when too many days go by.
I was supposed to make a dessert for dinner at a friend’s house on Saturday but her younger son came down with a fever, so we pushed our date to next week. By Sunday, I was desperate. We usually don’t have people over on Sundays – Randy tends to get the Sunday blues – but I was dying to cook and wanted to share the bounty. Fortunately, we only had to make one phone call and – voilà! – instant dinner party.
The thing about having people over to our house is I can’t just make dinner. I have to make dessert. I have a reputation to uphold – this site is called Dana Treat, isn’t it? Plus our friend Regan is a huge fan of my treats and I can’t let a good friend down. Tim and Regan have volunteered (volunteered!) to watch our boys on several occasions so we could go see a movie. Friends like that need dessert.
Sunday night is casual, so rather than flipping through the wrong baking books, I immediately turned to The Greyston Bakery Cookbook, home of that terrific Apple Torte. Sometimes desserts just call to me and this time it was this Blueberry Sour Cream Torte. Randy always wants berry desserts and usually I chastise him (berries in March! silly boy!) but this time I could not resist. Yes, I spent $23 on blueberries from Chile (the shame!) but I think we are all just ready for a taste of sunshine.
I had my doubts about this one. Going in, the crust seemed awfully dry and like it was going to be too tall. The torte took much longer to bake than the 45 minutes given in the recipe and when I pulled it out, I still wasn’t sure the top was going to be set. I got impatient to take photos before it got dark, so I released the springform pan before it was completely cool. As a result, I had some blueberry leakage. But oh my god, none of it mattered. Just like that lovely apple torte, everything worked perfectly. The crust was perfectly crisp (not soggy at all – even with all that wet stuff on top), the blueberries burst in our mouths, and the topping was creamy and just a bit sour. Another winner from this terrific book.
One Year Ago: Individual Blueberry-Coconut Pound Cakes (blueberries on the brain in March!)
Blueberry Sour Cream Torte
The Greyston Bakery Cookbook
Makes one 9-inch cake, 10-12 servings
The recipe says to serve this with vanilla ice cream or a small dollop of sour cream sweetened to taste with maple syrup. I made blueberry frozen yogurt which tasted wonderful with it. Before you take the collar off the springform pan, I would run a thin knife around the sides, just to make sure you don’t have anything stick.
For the crust
1½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
½ cup ground almonds
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup butter (1 stick)
For the Filling
4 cups fresh blueberries
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup cornstarch
For the topping
2 egg yolks
2 cups sour cream
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Prepare the crust
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9″ found springform pan and line the pan bottom with a parchment paper round. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, almonds, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it forms coarse crumbs. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF.
Prepare the Filling
In a medium saucepan, toss the blueberries with the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat until the blueberries are bubbling and beginning to burst, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring gently several times. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Prepare the topping
In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
Finish the Torte
Spoon the filling over the crust. Spoon the topping evenly over the filling and smooth it with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping browns and appears to have set. Set the pan on a wire rack until completely cool. Release and remove pan sides.