Ah, spring. Can you hear me? Are you on your way, or will you drag your feet through March, turning the landscape from a sprouting ray of hope to a cold and windy purgatory? We just have to wait – not too expectantly – like the coolest of customers, and hope to be rewarded.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t think and bake spring! I’ve been craving blueberry muffins, bright colors and fruits whose first – and every – bites create the season in my mind. Like that little tangy kick you get from chomping on a fresh raspberry, the squish of a watermelon, the sweetness of a giant strawberry that needs no sugar to be delicious.
Plus, I’m moth-to-flame when it comes to the color red (see what I did above, without even thinking? Named three red fruits).
The fact that we’ve edged into the sun-kissed 60s the last few days makes me want to be pulling up to a little roadside blueberry stand around Traverse City, Michigan, in shorts and my pink Piggly Wiggly flip-flops, and carting off five-pound boxes of those little navy cherubs to make any and everything blueberry under the sun. For the rest of the calendar year.
This is one fever that shouldn’t be starved. Enter triple-threat berry bread.
I wanted more than just a blueberry muffin in a loaf pan, so I experimented with finely chopped, fresh raspberries, dried cranberries and of course blueberries. Buttermilk enforces the slight tang, lends body and moistness and helps this loaf stay bread and not go cake.
The result: exactly what I was craving, plus it bakes up quickly (guess that’s why it’s a quick bread)! Enjoy for breakfast, or pair with just about any salad at lunch.
Now go find your flip-flops.
Triple-Threat Berry Bread
Approx prep: 10 minutes Bake: 50-55 minutes Yield: 1 loaf
1 stick butter or margarine (1/2 cup), softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
Topping (optional): 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. In a large bowl (or stand mixer), cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth
3. Add eggs, vanilla and buttermilk
4. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to mixture
4. Fold in berries
5. Spread the batter into a pre-greased loaf pan
5. Combine 1 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, sprinkle on top
6. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until top is set.
7. Cool on wire rack 30 minutes; remove from pan and wrap in foil.