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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Are you ready?
Our Christmas will be very simple this year and I am so glad. The last few years have been so busy with my catering that I did not have much time to do things for others.
This year is already different. I have been baking up a storm, but only so that I may give special gifts to my friends. I am having so much fun.
Many years ago, in Muncie, Indiana, I attended nursing school to become an LPN. It was at Ball State and to hear my husband tell it, he thinks I dated David Letterman. To set the record straight, I did not and never knew him them, but he was there at the same time. However, I did have a wonderful nursing instructor, Mrs. Murray, who was from Kentucky.
During the holidays, our class would have a Christmas meal together before our Christmas break. As usual, everyone would bring in their special food and so would our instructors. We were a very close knit class and this was a particularly special time together. Mrs. Murray brought in the best Blackberry Jam Cake we had ever eaten. In fact, many of us had never heard of a jam cake until she made it for us. She told us it was a family recipe from Kentucky; we felt so honored when she gave us the recipe. It has become a favorite of mine, but I have tweaked it a little over the years. I give you
Blackberry Jam Cake
2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
2 cups flour
2 T. cocoa
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup blackberry jam
1 cup toasted black walnuts or pecans ( I prefer pecans)
Blackberry Liqueur (optional)
Cream shortening and sugar together well; add eggs and continue beating.
Add soda to buttermilk; set aside. Sift together all dry ingredients.
Alternately add dry ingredients and buttermilk to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour; beat well after each addition. Add vanilla, then fold in blackberry jam and nuts.
Pour into 3 large cake pans or use a Bundt pan that have been greased and floured or use a baking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Actually, this takes longer in my oven, so I set my timer at 30 minutes, check it, and if it is not done, I will bake it at 7-8 minute intervals until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. If baking in a Bundt pan, it will take about 1 hour.
Take out of oven and cool on rack for about 10 minutes, then drizzle on a little Blackberry Liqueur if you desire.
Make your favorite Caramel Frosting or use this glaze for your Bundt cake.
2 T. butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 T. light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Stir in brown sugar. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add buttermilk and corn syrup; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. With a whisk, gradually stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Once cake has cooled, place on serving plate and spoon glaze over the top allowing it to run down the sides of the cake.
I made three of these and gave them to some very good friends. Enjoy!
Lonnie Sundermeyer is a retired professional caterer residing in Ghent, Ky.