Raspberry Lime Buttermilk Quick Bread

Last week we had extremely unseasonably warm weather up here in New Hampshire, and it was a glorious preview for the upcoming summer season.  To celebrate, I threw open the windows, dug out my favorite Minnetonka moccasins, and got outside as much as possible.

I moved up here in November, when hibernation mode kicks in and everything slows down.  It’s been a long winter.  Walking around my neighborhood last week, I saw dogs lounging on porches, grills emerging from their winter tarps, and the beginning of forsythia buds on the bushes.  All were welcome sights, and have me positively yearning for the warm half of spring and the heat of summer.  I have a car for the first time in over 5 years, Mount Monadnock down the road, and an endless stream of events and festivals I’ve always wanted to go to at my disposal.  I want to see and experience everything.  (Insert silent cry of “Who’s with me??” here)

Not so welcome were the sounds of Keene State students driving or stumbling by my open windows, but hey, I spent the last six years in Boston.  I can manage.

A big part of my job for Yankee Magazine right now is testing recipes for the next “cookbook-azine” we’ll be putting out in the fall.  Here’s a sneak peek at some of the things I’ve been making.  I can’t have you thinking I’m not cooking like a maniac over here, even if I can’t share it.

Asparagus Vinaigrette, Fan-Tan Rolls, Cheese Straws, Coffee Cloud Sponge Cake, Old-Fashioned Soda Crackers, Blueberry Boy Bait

I had some leftover buttermilk from the Fan-Tan Rolls, so I tapped into some of my early-summer cravings and made a loaf of buttermilk quick bread, flavored with frozen raspberries and lime zest.  Raspberry Lime Rickey, anyone?

The bread was just what I thought it would be — tangy, zesty, and a good way to kick of the warm weather season, even though I know it’s going to be awhile before summer officially arrives.  As I am typing this, the thermometer in my kitchen window is flirting with freezing.

It’s all part of the fun of living in New England, and of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Not really…

Raspberry Lime Buttermilk Quick Bread
Adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest from one lime

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla.
  4. Slowly pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and lightly fold with a rubber spatula for a few strokes.  Add the raspberries and lime zest and fold a few more times until just combined.  Do not overmix.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Print the recipe for Raspberry Lime Buttermilk Quick Bread.

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

As I have said many times, I get a lot of magazines.  They are split pretty evenly between food and mom magazines, which I think is totally normal for a single 30-year old woman with a weakness for cheap subscriptions to publications that trend towards crockpot recipes, “design on a dime” tips, and the occasional Jamie Lee Curtis interview.

Or in the case of the January 2012 issue of Woman’s Day, a Valerie Bertinelli interview…with recipes.

Nobody was more surprised than me to find myself thinking about one of Val’s favorite book group cakes (Blueberry Buttermilk) days after flipping through the issue, but I thought “Why fight it?” and made the darn cake.

And guess what?  It came out just like I dreamed it would.

Tangy buttermilk mixed with tons of frozen wild blueberries (since it’s January that was my best bet…) in a tender crumb makes for the perfect Sunday morning coffee treat.

Also, if sliced into 24 pieces, each slice clocks in at only 188 calories.

A classy cake like this would also be a jolly good choice for any of you out there looking for snacks to enjoy while you watch the premiere of season 2 of Downton Abbey this evening on PBS!  I have a feeling I will be enjoying a slice with a gin and tonic pot of tea while I roll my eyes at Mary and ponder O’Brien’s curly bangs.

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Valerie Bertinelli in Woman’s Day Magazine (Oh Mylanta…)

Ingredients
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 tsps. baking soda
3/4 tsps. kosher salt
3 3/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsps. grated lemon zest
2 cups fresh blueberries or one 15-oz pkg frozen wild blueberries, thawed and drained
2 Tbsps.coarse sugar (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 9-inch springform pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 3/4 cups flour.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, buttermilk, sugar, oil, and zest.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet mixture until just combined – do not overmix.  There should be some lumps.
  • In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the tablespoon of flour.  Using a rubber spatula, fold all but 1/2 of the blueberries into the batter and smooth into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the reserved blueberries on top, then sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  • Bake for 70-75 minutes or until cake is brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove the outer ring of the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Slice and serve!

Yield: 24 thin slices

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