As a Canadian, I’m always interested in Canadian food culture.
Not only because I’m patriotic dessert lover, but also because I’ve been doing volunteer research for Canadian Dictionary project going on at UBC.
The area of research I’ve been assigned is hockey terminology, which is great — I love hockey! — but food words are my secret side project.
Nanaimo bars, butter tarts, tourlouche, beaver tails… these things are all Canadian.
Here’s a lesser-known piece of Canadiana: Nova Scotia Blueberry Cream Cake, a dessert that, despite its name, seems to have been developed in Ontario (as a volunteer researcher, it’s important that I trace historical development, too).
I submitted this dessert name and its documentation to the dictionary database, but felt a pang of disappointment.
Because, think! Just a few more provinces west, and this could have been British Columbia Blueberry Cream Cake!
I’ve never been to Nova Scotia, but I’ve always wanted to take off one summer and road trip across Canada to see it.
The plan would be to start in Vancouver and head east: hit every major city, see and eat something new in every province, take photos, go hiking (or for really, really, really long, straight walks in Saskatchewan and Manitoba), talk to people, relax…
I’m missing a few things before I can get up and go, though — like time, money, and copilots (word to the wise: always travel in even numbers).
Sadly, at this point in my life, it’s a trip for another day.
Nova Scotia Blueberry Cream Cake
*adapted slightly from The Red Hat Society Cookbook
Vanilla Almond Layer
- 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold and cut into pieces
- 1 large egg
Blueberry Sour Cream Layer
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried
Amaretto Whip Cream Layer
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur
Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
First, make the vanilla almond layer: sift together the all-purpose flour, almond meal, baking powder, and half a cup of white sugar.
Drop the cold, cubed butter into the bowl of sifted ingredients and cut it into the mixture by using a pastry cutter or your finger tips. Work until the the mixture has become coarse crumbs and no large chunks of butter remain.
Lightly beat one large egg and one teaspoon of vanilla extract together.
Using a wooden spoon, add the egg and extract to the crumbed ingredients. Stir vigorously and distribute the egg and extract to make the crumbs come together.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and press evenly over the bottom.
Next, make the blueberry sour cream layer: whisk together the sour cream, egg yolks, half a cup of while sugar, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract until smooth.
Fold in the blueberries, and then pour the sour cream batter into the pan.
Gently shake and tap the pan to remove any large air bubbles and “settle” the blueberry batter before placing the cake in the oven.
Bake for 50 ~ 55 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and the middle barely jiggles when nudged.
Allow the cake to cool on the counter for an hour, then chill in the fridge for another two hours.
After two hours, make the amaretto whipped topping: whip cream, icing sugar, and amaretto together until stiff peaks form, then smother the top of the chilled cake with all the whipped cream.
Keep chilled until ready to eat.
This Nova Scotia Blueberry Cream Cake was quickly boxed up and whisked off to a party, so I didn’t get any good photos of the inside, but, as you can see, this cake looks mighty delicious.
I especially like how a little bit of cream that dribbled down the sides of the cake looked like lightning bolts, and the whip cream on top looked like a big, fluffy storm cloud!
Since it’s best to keep the cake chilled to preserve its whipped cream top, this is a good dessert for a hot night.
Be it here or on the other side of the country, it’s blueberry season! Yum!