Recipe: James Beard's Huckleberry Cake

HuckleberriesAn Oregon native, James Beard was fond of the many types of wild berries that dot the Pacific Northwestern landscape. In Delights and Prejudices he recounts the springtime berry-picking excursions he took as a child with his family, searching for fruits to use in baked goods and jams. The holy grail of these outings was the huckleberry, which typically grows on mountain slopes and is difficult to reach. When the Beards had the good fortune to stumble upon an elusive patch, they gathered huckleberries to put in pies, clafoutis, or this simple but fantastic cake, a recipe from a family friend. Huckleberry cultivation is rare, so you usually won't see them at grocery stores or farmers' markets. Blueberries, which are similar in flavor and will be available soon, are an excellent substitute.

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