Blueberry Bonanza

A few years ago, I made a small batch of blueberry preserves for my Super Bowl-themed cupcakes. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with preserving. Preserving is so easy. Now that I’ve done it a few times, I wonder why anyone bothers to buy preserves.

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Inspired by the abundance of blueberry season, I made a tower of blueberry preserves (literally) and wanted to find a way to incorporate these sweet, tart preserves into my cooking. The result was this blueberry-studded, cream-filled and fruit-topped cake. A simple blueberry buttercream, made by making a basic buttercream and then adding my blueberry preserves, completes the cake. The result is a eye-catching confection perfect for a picnic or party.

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Scroll through the slideshow below to see the cake come together from start to finish.

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Blueberry Preserves

Makes 32 oz. preserves

5 cups (approx. 2-3 pints) blueberries
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Ball jars, any size (I used 4 oz.)

Pour sugar and blueberries into a large pot.

Place over medium heat and stir until blueberries are coated in sugar. Crush about half of the blueberries with your spoon or whisk. Cook over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. As you cook the blueberries, a pale pink liquid will form. This liquid will darken and thicken as the blueberries cook. Remove from heat when the preserves are deep, dark purple. Some blueberries should remain intact. The preserves will resemble jam.

Rinse ball jars in hot. Fill jars with preserves, leaving space at the top of the jars. Seal lids tightly.

Place jars in a large pot. Add water to the pot just until it covers the jars. Boil for about 10 minutes. Remove with tongs and set aside to cool. Store in a cool place. Refrigerate once opened.

Vanilla Whipped Cream

1/2 pint heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Pour heavy cream and powdered sugar into a large bowl.

Whisk the cream and sugar together. Then whip the cream vigorously just until soft peaks form.

Buttercream

Make your favorite vanilla buttercream recipe. Set most aside. Mix the remaining buttercream with preserves until the color and flavor are to your liking.

IMG_4282Blueberry Cake

Makes two 9″ layers of cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup milk
1 pint FROZEN blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.

Beat eggs and sugar together in a separate bowl. Add milk, melted butter, honey and vanilla and whisk together.

Pour half of the wet mixture into the bowl containing dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Add the other half of wet ingredients and stir. Add chocolate chips and stir.

Pour batter into a 8″ cake pan that has been sprayed with Pam. Bake approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.

When cool, assemble the cake by spreading blueberry preserves on the first layer. Add a layer of vanilla whipped cream and then top with the other layer of cake. Cover with vanilla and blueberry buttercream as shown. Top with blueberries or other berries. Enjoy!

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