Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blackberry Polenta Loaf

DSC02004 This is gonna be quick!  We’re in the midst of football and cheerleading practices everyday, and it doesn’t leave much time for me and the 3B’s.  

With the last of my blackberries in mind,  I took inspiration from The Kitchen Sink Recipes and decided to make her Tart Cherry-Cornmeal Quick Bread.  What sold me on that recipe was the use of cornmeal.  I love the crunch and sweetness it brings to whatever it’s added to.  I did have one little problem.

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Whole grain cornmeal is not a high demand item.  As a matter of fact  I don’t think it’s in demand at all as none of my local Publix Grocery Stores carried it.  I even checked my local health store.  I eventually found some organic polenta that I thought might work.  I’m not certain what the difference is between polenta and and cornmeal, but by now I WANTED that quick bread. Again I’m not certain how much the polenta changed the taste and texture of my quick bread, but I was pleased with it.  Just as I knew I would I loved the crunch  it added to my quick bread, it was reminiscent of corn bread but better.  My daughter loved this.  I caught her cutting herself a slice after I had already given her one.DSC02009

This wasn’t a hit with the Twins.  They took one bite and handed Babygirl and me their slices.  I don’t think this recipe is for everyone.  Those of you who don’t like cornmeal or cornbread will probably not care for this recipe; but those of you that do, I would definitely recommend it.

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See that photo above.  Notice anything?  Yup, once again my blackberries sunk.  I followed your (and the recipe’s) advice and floured the blackberries before adding them.  I also took it a step further and instead of folding them into my batter, I gently placed them on top of the batter once it was in the pan.  No luck!  :( They still sunk.

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Tart Cherry-Cornmeal Quick Bread AKA Blackberry Polenta Loaf

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cornmeal (polenta)*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup tart cherries, stems and pits removed (blackberries)

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease a loaf pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg whites, buttermilk, sour cream and extract; mix until combined.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, and salt.  Add all but a tablespoon or so of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, with the mixer running at low speed; mix until just combined.

Toss the cherries in the reserved dry ingredients.  Gently fold the cherries into the batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.  Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the loaf to a rack and cool completely.

*Check out this guest post on HoneyB’s blog, The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s HoneyBunch.  Her guest blogger Haley made and blogged about making Blackberry Polenta Muffins (YUM!). In her post she advises soaking the polenta overnight in whatever liquid your recipe calls for.   For more info check out the post.

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