This is a tale of two desserts, one with great potential, one … not so much.
My go-to dessert to use up blueberries is smitten kitchen’s buttermilk cake, which is fuckin’ delicious but not very exciting. Last summer I got ambitious. I wanted to try new blueberry things.
Friends, don’t try new blueberry things.
Well. I shouldn’t go that far. One of the two desserts I tried (both, coincidentally, by Melissa Clark, though I didn’t know it at the time) is probably delicious. I say “probably” because I screwed up a bunch of things that I think you probably need to not screw up to really make it shine. It is blueberry crumb bars – basically jam bars, only you make the jam on the stovetop out of fresh blueberries(!!!!!). As you may or may not be aware, I’m totally crazy for jam bars, and I have high hopes for this dish when blueberries come back in season.
The other one is … well, I don’t think it’s irredeemable. But I’m not going to check.
Notes & Verdicts
Blueberry Maple Tea Cake by Melissa Clark via Cookie + Kate
Notes: You guys this was so bad. I know, blueberry and maple, how could putting these things together ever go wrong? Very fucking easily, apparently. I blame the glaze. The cake itself was fine, if not noteworthy. But the glaze … I mean I know I am not the biggest butter fan on the face of the earth but this just did not taste right, and really fucked with the texture of the cake. The photos on Cookie + Kate seem to indicate that their glaze was more of solid layer atop the cake than mine, which soaked in. So maybe I fucked it up? I don’t know. What I do know is that this sat out long enough to get moldy.
Verdict: Craaaaaaaap. F
Blueberry Crumble Shortbread Bars by Melissa Clark
Notes: I have really high hopes for these. Here is the list of things I will do differently when I make them this summer to ensure success.
1) I will not substitute ground cinnamon for a cinnamon stick which is supposed to be removed before the jam is spread on the shortbread base. In fact, I may not use any cinnamon products at all.
2) I will not add lemon juice before cooking the jam. In fact, I may not use lemon juice at all. I may only use zest. This resolution can be explained entirely by my failure to read the damn recipe closely. Always read the damn recipe closely.
3) I will read the damn recipe closely.
Verdict: I can’t. I just can’t render a verdict on something I’m certain I can make better the second time. Not Graded, Forthcoming