Summer Blackberry Cornmeal Cake

by cillefish

This moist summer cake balances rich sour cream with cornbread’s grainy goodness — the result is fresh, summery, and sweet, but avoids the dense cakiness of winter treats. Adapted from this recipe by Matt’s mom.

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg*
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon for skillet
  • 2 containers fresh blackberries (5.6 ounces each), or 11.2 ounces frozen, thawed, and drained (about 2 1/2 to 3 cups)

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar. In another bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter; pour over flour mixture, whisking to combine.

In a 10-inch skillet (preferably cast-iron; a large square stoneware or pyrex dish also works), heat remaining tablespoon butter in the oven until melted and skillet is hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven; swirl to coat bottom of pan. Pour batter into skillet; scatter blackberries on top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Bake, with a baking sheet on rack below (to catch any drips), until top is a toasty gold color, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly, about 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen; cut into 8 wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature. Excellent with vanilla ice cream.

*Matt’s mom tells me she grinds fresh nutmeg into the dry ingredients until it looks right — I’ve never seen that in action, so 1/4 tsp seemed a reasonable guess based on other recipes I know that use nutmeg.

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