Mom’s Blueberry Tea Cake {and blueberry picking!}

I was so excited to take in my first blueberry picking last week with our two girls and one of their friends. Be sure to read on after this recipe for Mom’s Blueberry Tea Cake for the whole story!

So…what did we do with all those fresh and fabulous blueberries, straight from the bush?

Besides enjoying their simple beauty straight from the picking box, we had fun mixing up some old favorite recipes, along with some new ones. My young blueberry picking companions put together this tried and true recipe from my mom – blueberry tea cake – a moist cake studded with blueberries and topped with crunchy yumminess. The flavor and textures are similar to my Grandma’s recipe for my favorite blueberry muffins in the world, a very popular recipe here on a farmgirls dabbles.

In the absence of my kitchen helpers on their step stools, I tried out a few new recipes on my own…

From the moment I read Aimee’s post on Simple Bites, about how to make your own blueberry syrup, I knew I wanted to try it. And it was pure yum! We topped our family’s favorite buttermilk pancakes with it and wholeheartedly licked our plates clean. I also made a most incredible blueberry cream cheese ice cream and a blueberry mint jam. All three of these new-to-me recipes were complete successes. So much delicious fun!

When you have fresh and fabulous blueberries, 
what do you like to make?! 

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Mom’s Blueberry Tea Cake

Yield: 9 to 12 servings

Ingredients:

for the cake:

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen

for the crumb topping:

  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease and flour a 9″ square pan and set aside.

Prepare the cake by first sifting together the flour, baking powder, and salt – set this aside. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the the egg and milk and beat until smooth. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries. Spread into the prepared pan.

For the crumb topping, mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Then cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork, until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle the batter with the topping and bake for 35 to 4o minutes, until nicely golden brown.

Mom’s recipe box


I was finally able to follow the signs to the blueberry bushes! This delicious task has been on my Summer Bucket List for more years than I care to admit. But the trip to Rush River Produce, near Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, was well worth the wait. Heck, the hour-long drive there is a treat all in itself.

(Note: Be sure to call Rush River Produce before you visit, as they have limited and varying picking days/hours.)

With a mug of vanilla flavored creamer, topped off with just a bit of coffee, and three chattering girls in the seat behind me, we took off bright and early last Thursday, making our way south along Wisconsin’s Great River Road. Winding along this National Scenic Byway, with the mighty Mississipi River below and stunning limestone bluffs above, we were often pointing out the windows in awe. We were plopped into instant vacation mode.

The beautiful farm at Rush River Produce was more than I had imagined. With a quaint farmhouse, a number of outbuildings, and TONS of flowers, it embraced every bit of this here farmgirl.

I have never, ever seen so many hollyhocks in one location. Their old fashioned loveliness welcomed us in a special way that I’m sure they never even realized.

My happiness-oozing companions for the day, aka “The Hollyhock Girls”, took to those colorful extra-tall flowers immediately!

Our first sight of the blueberry bushes, with row after row dipping over the misty horizon, promised to fill our boxes with blue hued wonder. Can you just imagine this being your backyard?!

The blueberries were just so beautiful. There was no hesitation in popping the first few into our mouths. It was due reward for years of waiting!

The girls talked and laughed the whole while, proudly showing me how much they had picked since they last displayed their buckets, surely not more than just 3 minutes prior.

I could have picked for hours. But I restrained myself, knowing how I always over-pick with strawberries, and we left with just 1 box. Next year, though, I promise to not hold back as much, as I found the blueberries keep very, very well.

Then, like any good group of women out for the day, we got back in the car to find some lunch and shopping. We drove a few miles south to the village of Stockholm (pop. 97!), to enjoy a lovely meal at a quaint umbrella’d table at Bogus Creek Cafe & Bakery.

Surrounded by fountains and flowers,

and lush succulents growing playfully from ordinary bricks, we mozied on to the next most reasonable destination.

The Crazy Cat Candy Shoppe, of course, for some jelly beans and ultra creamy homemade fudge.

With a bakery housed down below, showing off its flaky croissants and gorgeous loaves, this beautiful old home is quite the stop for your waistline.

And after we walked all that off by checking out the village’s antiques, Swedish goods, and The Palate – an unbelievable kitchen store feat for a town of only 97 people – we stopped for just one more bite at The Stockholm Pie Company. Yes, when you’re traveling with me, you must be prepared to sample each and every noteworthy edible experience.

We did behave ourselves, though, and agreed on one giant piece to share. After perusing the tempting selections, it was a unanimous vote – “Chocolate Cream Pie, perty please!”

You must know that this was the best chocolate cream pie I’ve ever had. The crust was light, flaky, and perfectly salty. And that bottom layer of chocolate pudding was thick, creamy, and richly chocolate. No Jell-O pudding boxes used here, folks. This was the real stuff!

And I couldn’t help but think…if Mom had ever really opened up that pie shop down on the corner (a regular semi-serious suggestion of Dad’s as we were growing up, as Mom is a top-notch pie maker) - to have a little shop akin to The Stockholm Pie Company’s, with its welcoming storefront and exquisite pies – it, too, would have been a huge small-town success story. 


I’m linking up with the following this week:

Cheryl at TidyMom for I’m Lovin’ It (Camera iPhone Apps)
Allison at Alli ‘n Son for Sweet Tooth Friday (Turtle Rice Krispies Treats)
Robyn at Add a Pinch for Mingle Monday
Rachel at A Southern Fairytale for Mouthwatering Mondays (Dippin’ Dogs)

   

43 Responses to “Mom’s Blueberry Tea Cake {and blueberry picking!}”

  1. #
    1
    Toni — August 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Well, I think you just sold me on a trip to Wisconsin! This post looks like it belongs in an issue of Midwest Living! A few weeks ago I bought 20 lbs of fresh blueberries. Blueberry Lime Jam and Blueberry Syrup were canned while the majority of the berries were frozen as that is the favorite snack of my little boys. We also made Blueberry Pie Ice Cream which got eaten much too quickly! Your recipe sounds perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast, can’t wait to try it!

    • farmgirl replied on August 7th, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      Great to hear from you, Toni – I had fun looking through your blog. Fabulous quilting!! Wow – 20 pounds of blueberries – good for you! I truly wished we had picked more. Oh well, now we know what to expect. And we’ll definitely be going back next year. Hope you enjoy my mom’s tea cake!

  2. #
    2
    Amanda — August 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    What a beautiful, beautiful day!!! Those blueberries look fantastic!!

    • farmgirl replied on August 7th, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks, Amanda. We really did have so much fun – and they were the most delicious berries ever. Maybe we should plan a Rettke/Score blueberry picking day next year?!

  3. #
    3
    Paula — August 5, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    What a wonderful read. You all had such a lovely day. The photos of the farm and it’s surroundings are beautiful, as are all your food shots. I love country, small towns and the people that inhabit them. Your post has done a lovely service to promote tourism in these areas of Wisconsin and I wish that I can one day visit.
    The blueberry tea cake looks irresistible and I can imagine it is just delicious.

    • farmgirl replied on August 7th, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      Awwww…thanks, Paula. :)

  4. #
    4
    Chris Nelson — August 5, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    My favorite blog post yet! The combination of your lovely style of storytelling with such close attention to the smallest details, and excellent photography skills create such a beautiful mental picture… I really felt like I was there with you! You are truly gifted in many ways, and so are we when you share your gifts with us!

    • farmgirl replied on August 7th, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      Thanks, Chris! I wish you could have been there with us!!

  5. #
    5
    Mom — August 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Loved your post, Brenda. I accept your invitation to go along next year. Your beautiful pictures ‘show and tell’ of the wonderful day you had with the girls.

    • farmgirl replied on August 7th, 2011 at 8:44 pm

      Thanks, Mom. You would not have wanted to end that day – that trip is meant for you!

  6. #
    6
    Kate — August 6, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Rush River Produce is one of my favorite summer outings and I’m sad that with my schedule this year and they’re limited picking that I likely won’t make it there. I’ve always picked two large boxes of fruit and having fresh blueberries in the freezer is such a wonderful treat.

    I love the drive almost as much as the farm, the berries, the picking and then the lunch after. I drove last year all the way to Pepin, and ate at a tiny sidewalk cafe there, a lunch of incredibly fresh foods and so flavorful. I think about taking that drive in the Fall too, when the colors will make it even more spectacular.

    • farmgirl replied on August 7th, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      I was thinking a fall trip is also a must. What an awesome little vacation for a day!

  7. #
    7
    Kathie — August 6, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    We have been making the drive to Wisconsin to Rush River produce for several years and it is always so worth it!! You took some great photos & I am thinking next year I am going to have to make a stop for some pie- Stockholm looks like a fun little town! Thanks for sharing.

    • farmgirl replied on August 7th, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      So fun to hear from you, Kathie – thanks for leaving a note. And, yes, check out those pies next time!

  8. #
    8
    Lauren — August 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I cannot wait to make this blueberry cake… Maybe with some almond flavor in the whipped cream I’ll dollop on top…
    I really love blueberries!

    • farmgirl replied on August 7th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      You’re speaking to someone addicted to whipped cream – of course I think your suggestion sounds fabulous!! Great to hear from you, Lauren – thanks!

  9. #
    9
    Kristen — August 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Oh my goodness… look at all those gorgeous blueberries! Brenda… it STILL didn’t make it off of our bucket list this year. I keep forgetting and then time is all up.
    Delicious looking photos on your tea cake too!

    • farmgirl replied on August 8th, 2011 at 9:15 am

      Thanks, Kristen. All I can say is, keep blueberry picking ON your bucket list. What a treat! Have a great week!

  10. #
    10
    Marge Hoyt — August 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Brenda, What a wonderful article. You truly are gifted in many ways. Your recipes and pictures really capture everything a person would want to know. It was so great seeing and visiting with you at the wedding this past weekend. Looking forward to all the next stories and recipes you will be sharing with your readers!

    • farmgirl replied on August 9th, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      Thanks bunches, Marge! We had such a fun time at the wedding – it was great to see all of your family, especially your very radiant daughter. :)

  11. #
    11
    Rachel - A Southern Fairytale — August 8, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Oh my.
    YES PLEASE

    gorgeous and delicious!

  12. #
    12
    Elizabeth — August 10, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I have been meaning to go blueberry picking for ages. We drive by the U-Pick farms constantly and have yet to go, but those gorgeous shots of fresh picked berries is just calling my name!

    My mother bought me a flat of blueberries the other day though, and I plan on making a cottage cheese based cheesecake from it topped with a lovely blueberry syrup. I will also be making a crostatda and possible some smoothies too.

    I do love fresh berries!

    • farmgirl replied on August 10th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      Hi Elizabeth – I do hope you stop driving by the U-Picks, and stop to pick soon! I am curious about your cottage cheese based cheesecake – haven’t seen that before. So nice to hear from you!

  13. #
    13
    Liz — August 10, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I can’t wait to try the blueberry tea cake!
    I am also going to Stockholm next week and can hardly wait to go to the pie shop I must have missed it last time. I loved your pictures, I am taking my camera this time!

    • farmgirl replied on August 10th, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      The pie shop is right on the main corner of town, on the highway that runs right through it – you can’t miss it this time!! It was great to hear from you – I hope you like the tea cake!

  14. #
    14
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction — August 11, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    What a lovely day! The tea cake looks amazing.

  15. #
    15
    Liz Turner — August 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I love your site and the Mom’s Blueberry Tea Cake looks awesome..Can I post that pic and recipe on my site? I would link it back to your site giving the credit to you. Thnx for sharing. Come on over and visit my site and while you are there sign in to follow it. I think you would enjoy it. liz

  16. #
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    Jacob — August 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    These look really good. I feel like if I made them I may take time to sit down and enjoy brunch one day.
    Normally my go-to dessert for blueberries (any berries really) is cobbler. I’ll definitely have to give this recipe a try though. Thanks for sharing.

  17. #
    17
    Russell at Chasing Delicious — August 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    That box of berries looks incredible. I love berry picking and I haven’t been in far too long. This tea cake looks incredible too. I love berry cakes and I will definitely have to add this to my to-do list. Thanks for sharing!

    • farmgirl replied on August 15th, 2011 at 8:36 pm

      Hello, Russell – wonderful to hear from you. I’ve been enjoying looking through your site – such deliciousness! If you give this tea cake a try, I’d love to know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!

  18. #
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    Kelli — August 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    How did I miss this post? So very lovely!! It is really magazine worthy. Stockholm is so quaint. Haven’t had any pie yet, but I hear it’s legendary.

    • farmgirl replied on August 19th, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      Ahhh…thanks, Kelli. I love that there are so many possible lovely diversions for that trip – on both sides of the river. However, I don’t think I could now ever skip over Stockholm when visiting the area. Just too sweet.

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    Chung-Ah @ Damn Delicious — February 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I just made this and it is FABULOUS! The cake is so fluffy and just melt-in-your-mouth delicious! And there’s some butteryness to it!

    I made it for me and the boyfriend and it’s obviously too much for 2 people to eat so I shared them but I was kind of stingy about the portions because I wanted it all for myself! Is that bad?

    • Brenda replied on February 6th, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      So glad you liked this, it’s a wonderful little cake. And, no, I wouldn’t judge anyone harshly for wanting to keep this to themselves. :)

  20. #
    20
    Abby — August 24, 2012 at 8:03 am

    I made this last night and it’s awesome! Super easy to put together quickly. I used a 8×8 pan as I don’t have a 9×9, just baked it longer. The crust was probably crunchier than it was supposed to be, but I like it that way :)

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