Sometimes you want to make cake. And maybe you do. And maybe you want it to be easy.
I started making this cake in blueberry season when we were eating a pint or two of blueberries every day. Some batches were a bit sour, so I thought of various ways to cook them. Versions of this range from super-healthy to indulgent. It takes about 15 minutes to put together (if you are working with fruits like blueberries that need no prep besides washing, a little longer if you're cutting up apples or plums), and about 40 minutes in the oven. Sometimes while the cake was baking we would watch star trek or six feet under. Sometimes we did yoga. A couple of times I put the cake in the oven as we sat down to dinner with friends and it was ready for us just as we were ready for it.
This is something more like a method or a way or a path than a traditional recipe. For the most part I only measured the flour and the baking soda, just to get their ratios about right.
The main thing you need to know is that for every cup or so of flour, you'll want 1-2 tablespoons of baking powder. Besides the fruit, almost everything else is optional. Preheat the oven to mid heat, 350 is good.
My usual cake:
A pile of fruit (a pint of blueberries or what ever you want, washed and sliced if necessary)
Some flour (often I used something like 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup white flour) -- if you use less flour, its more like a cobbler, more flour is more cake like.
Some shortening: I usually use a bit of butter, not much, either melted with the liquids (taking care not to cook the eggs with hot butter) or mixed into the dry flour with a fork to form crumb-like balls (a little like cutting shortening into pie crust dough).
Sweetening: a little sugar, white or brown, or honey, or maple syrup is nice -- add to either the dry or the wet as appropriate, but many times I only put something sweet in the topping.
Liquid: maybe a cup altogether (this is quite flexible though) some milk is good, and an egg or two (add any liquid fats or sweetenings right into your cup).
Topping: if you keep your cake fairly plain, you may especially want to make a bit of crumble topping. An easy one is rolled oats, brown sugar, and butter, mixed together and dotted onto your cake or swirled in.
Extras: vanilla in with the liquids, cinammon in the topping or in with the flour.
As the summer wore on, and many cakes were made I began to add nuts, especially pecans, a little toasted in a hot dry skillet.
Butter the pan, mix the wet and dry ingredients
You can pour the fruit into the pan first, or the batter, depending on whether you want something with a crust, like a cake or tart (batter first) or something more like a cobbler or crisp (fruit first).
Bake until golden brown & the fruit is bubbling (30-40 min).
Eat the cake, with friends if you like.