Blueberry Nectarine Cornmeal Cake with Lemon Sage Syrup

 September 2014

“I was supposed to…”

Way back when, I was supposed to stay in France all summer long, but instead a visa complication threw a fork in all my farming and yurt-staying dreams.

Then, I was supposed to return to Pittsburgh for a farming program, only no one bothered to tell me the program’s funding had been cut.

I was supposed to work at that job for no more than a year.


Life is so full of “I was supposed to…” moments, and though I may be a complainer in the very wintry, “I’m so f%$king freezing right now” sort of way, when the real wrenches are thrown at me, I like to think I have the ability to roll with said wrenches. In most cases, these “supposed to” moments lead to a better scenario than I could ever have imagined. My personal and career paths appeared to meander in disparate directions for so long, but lately, I feel all the twists and turns coalescing into a meaningful direction. Had I been beleaguered by “I was supposed to..,” I may have inadvertently missed giant detour signage.

Blueberry Detail

I was supposed to take this cake to a dinner party, but ….

In a hurry, I snapped a few pictures in fall’s fading light, as the dinner party hour quickly approached. The cake, the linen, and the wooden surface yielded a sufficiently pretty picture, but the image did little to inspire me. Soon after the shutter release, plans changed, and attending the gathering fell through. The cake remained uncut, and the next day, I found so much more light and inspiration. Wooden crates, branches and berries reminded me once again how futile “I was supposed to” is, and my cake efforts were not in vain. I shared slices with my creative partners and that handsome fella I call the Urban Farmer.

Cake and Nectarines

When these reminders arise, and I muse about these lessons, I recall one of my favorite books- The Alchemist, in which author Paulo Coelho says, “And, when you can’t go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.” My friends, one of the best ways to move forward is with cake! Without further ado-

Blueberry Nectarine Cornmeal Cake with Lemon Sage Syrup


1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup local corn flour
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup half & half (or whole milk)
2 large organic, cage-free eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest

2  nectarines, sliced into thin wedges
blueberries, to your taste/aesthetic


Heat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 x 3-in. springform pan with baking spray.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in large bowl to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk milk, eggs, butter, vanilla and zest. Pour over flour mixture, mixing just until smooth, about 1 minute.

Spread evenly over bottom of pan. Top with nectarine slices and blueberries in a pattern that inspires you.

Bake 45-60 minutes, or until lightly golden, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Poke several holes in the surface of the cake with a cake tester or toothpick. Pour the lemon syrup (recipe below) over the surface of the cake.

Cool in pan on a wire rack. Remove cake from pan.


Lemon Sage Syrup

2 teaspoons AITA Sage liquor
juice from 1 lemon
1-2 teaspoons organic cane sugar


Stir all ingredients together until sugar is dissolved.


Thanks for musing with me!

p.s: If you’re eying this cake at breakfast time, you’re totally justified. A slice of this cake is a lovely way to start the day, especially when paired with homemade whipped cream.


This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. A Home Cook

    Mmmmmmmm ….. This looks truly delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ruby

    I just discovered you through foodgawker and I’m suuper happy I did. Love this post- the whole idea of “supposed to…” really speaks to me. So does this cake. Beautiful photos!

  3. esensky

    Beautifully said, beautiful photos, beautiful cake!

  4. Trang

    I love your post and I think all things happen for a reason, so don’t worry about all the supposes… and your cake looks super moist and delicious!

  5. Shannon

    Glad the cake was enjoyed. I just tried my hand at it, though I skipped the sage syrup and subbed cornmeal for corn flour. Delicious – two of us ate the whole thing in less than two days, subbing it for breakfast and rounding out lunch and dinner with it.

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