In the Sunday Magazine, food writer Nancy Harmon Jenkins gives a short, insightful look at wild Maine blueberries, plus a couple of great-looking recipes. But what we kept re-reading was a tiny detail in the recipe for the blueberry cake... The first step in the recipe, which includes a delicious-sounding mix of blueberries, yogurt, orange zest, and ground almonds, includes instructions for greasing and flouring a cake pan. Easy enough. Then it reads, "Set the pan in the freezer." Huh?
There's no explanation, and we're not familiar with this technique. Maybe it hardens the butter used to grease the pan, so that it creates a more distinct buffer layer to keep the cake from sticking? Is there something about a frozen pan going into a hot oven that affects the cake's consistency?
There's also a note at the end, which explains that when using frozen Maine blueberries, you shouldn't allow them to thaw before adding them to the batter. Hmm. Maybe the two things are related.
Does anyone have any ideas about the frozen cake pan? Do you do this at home?
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Related: Tip: Grease and Sweeten Cake Pans
(Images: Erica Beth Silberstein and Tony Cenicola for The New York Times)