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Sneaking in under the wire: pappa al pomodoro

I’ve never before thought of myself as any sort of doomsday prophet, but lately it seems that I’ve been in an awful rush to admit defeat to autumn. Yes, Seattle is officially That Rainy City once again, and yes, that was me at the bus stop, wrestling the wind for my umbrella, swatting furiously at the hair that had escaped my ponytail and plastered itself into the corner of my mouth, and generally performing at my unglamorous best. Given the circumstances, moaning about fall is perfectly appropriate, but dear reader, I think I may have spoken too soon. Call me a hypocrite; say what you will; but there are still heirloom tomatoes in the market, and that means there’s time to slip in an Indian summer recipe or two. Me, I’m sneaking in under the wire with a bowl of pappa al pomodoro.

Half-soup and half-sauce, pappa al pomodoro is little more than ripe tomatoes, olive oil, and day-old bread. Think of this Tuscan staple as a warm, spoonable tomato-bread salad, or perhaps a savory, sexed-up porridge, if your imagination will stretch that far. It’s just the thing for a gusty, blustery night at the cusp of autumn, when the season’s last tomatoes are falling-off-the-vine ripe, bumpy, ugly, and delicious. You’ll simmer them quickly in their own juices with onion, garlic, and fresh basil, gentle buttresses for their full, robust flavor. When the tomatoes have melted into a loose sauce, you’ll toss in bite-size hunks of chewy country bread, and fifteen minutes later—time enough for, oh, half a glass of wine—you’ll have a silky, steamy, rustic stew. This is simple, scrape-the-bowl stuff: the elemental flavor of tomatoes—now-sweet and now-tart, bright and fragrant—slicked and enriched with plenty of good, fruity olive oil and bathing soft, swollen bread.

It’s been said of many things, but really, the best thing since sliced bread is a pillowy lump from a bowl of pappa al pomodoro. The days of down parkas may soon be upon us, but I’d wrestle the wind every night to get home for a spoonful of this.

Pappa al Pomodoro
Adapted slightly from The Zuni Café Cookbook

This homey, homely stuff makes a delicious main dish, served with nothing more than a pristine green salad or a few green beans tossed with lemon and olive oil. If you prefer to play it as a side dish, know that I found it a perfect accompaniment to a wedge of frittata flavored with sweet, softened leeks and Pecorino Romano, and it would also be lovely with meats, from roasted chicken to lamb, sausages, or rosy slices of grilled steak. Be sure to have a good glass of red nearby as well. And for those like me who enjoy toting swank little sack lunches to work, you’ll be pleased to note that the leftovers—with a quick reheating in the microwave—make for very happy midday munching.

About 2 pounds very ripe, flavorful tomatoes
About ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
A leafy branch of fresh basil
A pinch or two of sugar
About ¼ pound day-old, chewy, country-style bread, with most of the crust removed
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Score a large “X” on the underside of half of the tomatoes, just breaking the skin. Gently ease them, one at a time, into the boiling water. Within 15 or so seconds, the skin should begin to curl back in sheets from the center of the “X.” When this occurs, remove the tomatoes from the water with a slotted spoon, and place them on a cutting board. Peel them; the skin should slip away easily. Trim them, as well as the unpeeled tomatoes, of any blemishes or under-ripe areas; core them; and coarsely chop them into ¼-inch bits, taking care not to lose any juice. Scoop the tomatoes and their juices into a bowl, and set it aside.

Pour about ¼ cup of the olive oil into a large saucepan or Dutch oven over low heat. When the oil is warm, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook gently over low heat for 10 or so minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic. Cook for a few minutes more, and then add the tomatoes and their juices, along with another glug of oil. Raise the heat, and bring the mixture to a simmer.

Pick the leaves from the sprig of basil, set them aside, and add the stem to the tomato mixture. Cook the mixture only long enough for the tomato to melt and break down a bit, about 5-10 minutes, stopping the cooking when the tomato mixture takes on the characteristic red-orange color of cooked tomatoes. Taste for salt and sugar; you’ll probably need to add quite a bit of the former and might want a pinch or two of the latter, to counter acidity.

Remove and discard the basil stem. Using kitchen shears, snip the basil leaves into rough slivers, and add them to the pot. Tear the bread into the size of large croutons, and add them as well, stirring to wet and submerge the chunks. Cover the pan, remove it from the heat, and let it sit for 15 or so minutes in a warm place, so that the bread can soften and absorb the liquid.

When you’re ready to serve the pappa, stir it roughly to break up the bread, and taste it again for salt and sweetness. Adjust as necessary, stirring in another glug of olive oil to enrich the finished dish. Serve warm, with freshly ground black pepper.

Yield: About 5 cups


Home is where the fritters are

Returning from vacation is never a wholly pleasant proposition, no matter how much I love my city of residence, my cozy apartment—deep-pile carpet notwithstanding—or my trusty little kitchen, always ready and waiting. Whoever said that home is where the heart is clearly did very little traveling, and must have fallen in love with the boy next door. But if ever there were a compelling reason for renewing my vows to Seattle just when my eye was at its wandering worst, it would have to be a certain five-headed family known for its lamb roasts, immoderate whipped cream consumption, and general gastronomic generosity. New York may have nearly everything a girl could want, but it doesn’t have the Knights. And really, who else would respond with such unquestioning enthusiasm when I call to propose deep-frying a pound of ricotta cheese spiked with bourbon and lemon zest?

I’d been eyeing a recipe for frittelle di ricotta, or ricotta fritters, for nearly three months, since Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian landed on my bookshelf. It was a dangerous proposition, however, for a single-occupant household: no one should ever, under any circumstances, be left alone with two dozen ricotta fritters and a box of powdered sugar.

So the recipe waited, as many have been known to do, in a pile on the kitchen counter, until the first twinges of fall sent me pawing after it. The nights are starting their long, slow stretch; the mornings grow cooler and cloudier; and nothing sounds so good as the homey, rustic richness of fresh ricotta, a warming nip of bourbon, and a burbling vat of oil to fry it all in. Call it the “fattening-up” instinct, but in times like these—as well as many others, of course—it’s good to know the Knight family. I’ve never minded drinking alone, but frying is another matter entirely.

So it was that I arrived at their door with a bowl of batter and a quart of canola oil. They met me with a Costco-size bag of powdered sugar and a well-seasoned wok, and on a mid-week work night, with fall unfolding on the other side of the window, we stationed ourselves before the stove, set the oil to bubbling, and we fried.

The fritters were golden and crispy to the tooth, with a lightness that belied their oily baptism. Beneath its delicate, crackling exterior, the ricotta was warm, meltingly soft and cloudlike, some ethereal intermediate between soufflé and softly scrambled egg. Perfumed with bourbon and the lightly bitter edge of lemon zest, its clean dairy flavor became something complex, both edgy and soothing.

Kate gave the fritters a good snowy sprinkling of sugar, while the family patriarch, declaring them “pure ambrosia,” sent up a cry for the whipped cream siphon. Without the Knights, dear reader, the world might never have known a lily so gilded as a cream-topped, powdered-sugar-dusted ricotta fritter.

I may have passed on the cream, myself, but I did manage to get three fat fritters past these lips. And from atop that boozy cloud of fried cheese, home was a very pleasant proposition indeed.

Frittelle di Ricotta, or Ricotta Fritters
Adapted from Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian

This recipe, as written in the cookbook, calls for a whopping four tablespoons (¼ cup!) of baking powder. Not excited about the idea of chalky, chemical-flavored fritters, I guessed that the editors must have meant four teaspoons, which wound up working beautifully here. The original recipe also calls for brandy, but I substituted Woodford Reserve bourbon instead, since I didn’t have any brandy lying around. I’ve listed both here, so use whichever you see fit—but make sure that you like its flavor, because it comes through with a good degree of prominence. In fact, we lovingly—and with only slight exaggeration—dubbed our finished fritters “bourbon balls.” Also, be sure to use a good, fresh ricotta, such as the Calabro hand-dipped type, or try making your own.

3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1 lb ricotta, preferably fresh; if yours is especially wet, drain off any excess moisture before beginning
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
4 Tbs good-quality brandy or bourbon
2 tsp finely chopped lemon zest
A pinch of salt
Vegetable oil, such as canola, for frying
Powdered sugar, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except the oil and powdered sugar. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for one hour.

Pour oil into a large saucepan, Dutch oven, or wok to a depth of about 3 inches. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking, about 375 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of ricotta batter into the hot oil, and fry, two or three at a time, until golden, about 4-5 minutes, turning with a slotted spoon or skimmer as necessary.

Drain the fritters on paper towels, dust them with plenty of powdered sugar, and serve.

Yield: about 20-25 2-inch fritters


Bringing home the (Greenmarket) goods

I owe you an apology, dear reader. For the past week, I’ve cruelly paraded before you a small smorgasbord of foods that, unless you happen to find yourself within the New York metropolitan area, you may never eat. If you’re anything like me, this could be cause for irritation, agitation, or even boredom; if I can’t run out and taste it—or better yet, create it at home—I often find my desire to read about it severely curbed. Yes, learning about new or exotic edibles can be inspiring, both in terms of hunger and curiosity, but when all is said and done, reading about faraway, unobtainable foods can feel a bit like having a crush on a movie star: if I can’t get my hands on it, why bother?

All of this is just to say that when Brandon and I went to the Union Square Greenmarket, we went with you in mind. It’s all well and good to wax poetic about juice-heavy heirloom tomatoes, peppery pale pink radishes, baby heads of fennel, elephant heart plums, and early ginger-gold apples, but such precious, prissy produce does not travel, literally or figuratively. In the interest of instant gratification for you, hungry reader, I wanted something sturdy and suitcase- or postal service-ready, a transportable taste of New York.

It was a Wednesday morning, almost noon, and a prime hour for public consumption of alcohol—or rather, sipping samples from plastic Dixie cups at the Château Renaissance Wine Cellars stand. We stepped up to the checkered tablecloth and were met by French-born winemaker Patrice DeMay, who drives weekly into Manhattan from his vineyard in the western Finger Lakes region. Château Renaissance is best known for its champagnes (or, if we’re going to get technical, “sparkling wines,” I suppose), made using the DeMay family’s 400-year-old Loire Valley recipe. Brandon is an ardent fan of the “naturel” variety, as well as a concoction called the “pear sparkle,” a fizzy, not-too-sweet blend of champagne and one of the vineyard’s seasonal fruit wines. My devotion lies with this last, a line of delicate, well-balanced wines made from 100% whole fruit—apricot to blackberry, elderberry, and rhubarb—and fermented with naturally occurring wild yeasts.

Perfect as an aperitif or alongside dessert, Château Renaissance’s jewel-toned fruit wines come in tall, sleek bottles that tuck nicely inside a suitcase or—better yet—ship quite handily from the Finger Lakes with a single phone call. In June, I brought home a bottle of strawberry-rhubarb—light and bright on the tip of the tongue, floral, silky, aromatic. This time I snagged a deep purply-blue bottle of blueberry and a second of apricot, a high-pitched, ethereal liquid version of the sweet, meaty fruit. Patrice handed them to me in a bag with “Uncork New York!” written loudly across its belly, and you know, I don’t mind if I do.

So much sipping calls for something solid and savory, and so Brandon steered me to another market must-do: Martin’s Pretzels.

A fixture of New York’s greenmarkets since 1982, these plump, shatteringly crunchy pretzels are handmade by Mennonite women in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Deep brown with a light sheen, these über-snacks are freckled with salt and filled with uneven air holes like a good rustic bread, the happy result of hand-rolling. They’re remarkably toasty, slightly nutty, and made from nothing but flour, water, yeast, and salt. If you’re in the know, you’ll step up to the stand and ask for a bag of “brokens,”
sold on the cheap in dollar increments and not one bit the worse for their less-than-perfect appearance. But if you’re more than a step—or a city—away, you can order Martin’s Pretzels online* and have them shipped to your door. I may well have to do so myself, since we nearly demolished my supply on the subway ride back uptown. And by the time I landed in Seattle a few days later, all I had were crumbs from a few itty-bitty broken bits.

But I can console myself—and you too—with the knowledge that at least some faraway, five-boroughs foodstuffs can be delivered to my doorstep any day I please. Now, if only the same were true of a certain New Yorker—or, hell, while we’re at it, a movie star or two.

*Sadly, it appears that the brokens are not available via mail order. For that, you’ll just have to show up in person. Consider it yet another reason to visit New York.


Street sweets, or things best eaten on two feet

At some point in my impressionable youth, I was told that one should never eat while standing up. This well-meaning killjoy of a tip was probably given to me during one of my mother’s various dieting phases, the idea being that one can’t be fully mindful of what crosses one’s lips unless one is seated, preferably with a knife, fork, and a napkin. There’s a good degree of truth to this, certainly, and I’ll almost always take a civilized sit-down over a standing scarf-down, but honestly, some things just taste better when taken on two feet. Take, for example, the drippy peach eaten over the kitchen sink, or the tip of the baguette torn off outside the boulangerie: really, sometimes sitting is superfluous.

If you'd like further proof, look no further than New York, America’s street food capital. There are carts for nearly everything capable of being eaten out of hand: hot dogs, coffee, deliciously salty soft pretzels, ice cream concoctions in colorful paper, doughnuts, muffins, and, as Brandon and I discovered one nibbly afternoon in Chinatown, a little creation called “hot mini cakes.”

You’d miss them if you weren’t careful, or if you happened to arrive too late in the day, after the last of the batter is gone. But if your timing is just right and your stars are in alignment, as ours were one sunny afternoon, you’ll find at the corner of Grand and Bowery a rickety-looking cart, half wrapped in a blue tarp and parked under a red-and-white striped umbrella. Behind its glass front window, an elderly man in white gloves gracefully turns out pan after pan of “all natural hot mini cakes,” twenty for a dollar.
Alternately known as “egg cakes,” “Hong Kong cakes,” “eggettes,” or “gai daan jai,” these sweet, quarter-sized orbs are made in a two-sided, hinged cast iron pan covered with tiny round wells, something across between a waffle iron, a pancake pan, and a sandwich press. When a customer steps up to his cart, the mini-cake man quietly springs into action, greasing the pan with a wooden-handled brush and filling it with a thin stream of the batter. He carefully closes the hinge and holds the pan over a propane flame, turning it a time or two to evenly brown the cakes. Then, scraping any excess batter from the rim, he turns the finished cakes into a bowl and delivers them to his waiting customer, still hot, in a little waxed-paper bag.

We stood on the corner and popped them one by one into our mouths, the two-tone cakes speckled with pin-sized holes and trimmed with lacy edges that flipped like tiny, soft skirts. Eggy and light, their flavor was unassuming, familiar, and completely delicious—the scent and sweetness of a white-flour crepe melded with the texture of an airy, fine-crumbed cake.

Now, being so tasty—and so mini—these cakes tend to disappear at an alarming rate. In fact, you may find, as we did, that they fall just shy of the afternoon sidewalk-snack quota for two. But you’ll be pleased to note, dear reader, that there’s another street-side treat to be had only a few blocks away.

I’m certainly not the first to sample the delights at Il Laboratorio del Gelato, but I can’t resist adding my voice to the chorus. I hate to think of anyone missing a bite of this fine stuff, or the chance to stroll the Lower East Side with a scoop or two.

Il Laboratorio del Gelato is a skinny storefront at 95 Orchard Street, a sterile white-walled space with a modest display case near the front window and a very big list of flavors. We sampled a few before settling on two small cups with two scoops each: chocolate sorbet and fresh mint gelato for Brandon, and milk chocolate and strawberry gelatos for me. Though lacking the soft, famously elastic texture of Italy’s classic gelatos, these New York-style offerings were enough to send us into small raptures on the street outside. The sorbet was dark with cocoa and impossibly smooth, without an ice crystal to be found—an ideal match for the mint gelato, which tasted like spearmint leaves steeped in fresh, lightly sweetened cream. My milk chocolate gelato made some of the finest chocolate ice cream I’ve ever eaten, and the strawberry was bright and true, finishing with a rush of rich cream. I tried to savor it slowly—a sort of milk-based meditation, if you will—but between the warm street, the softly melting scoops, and my deliciously distracting gelato-eating partner,

I was a lost cause. Really, sometimes mindfulness is overrated. I’ll settle for taste buds, two feet, and the teeming street.


Di Fara Pizza, and the exaggeration that wasn’t

There is something you should know about Brandon: when it comes to food, his main themes are obsession and exaggeration. He takes hot sauce straight from the spoon, and he has more oils and vinegars than you and I have fingers and toes. If he’s lying awake at two a.m., he’s likely weighing the merits of salad onions versus storage onions, and if he calls at lunchtime with a quavering voice and “terrible news,” what he really means is that his once-coveted pizza oven only goes to 575°, not 900°.

And it’s not by chance that I mention pizza. The stuff is chief among the occupants of his thoughts—not surprising, perhaps, given that it’s the birthright of all New Yorkers, but in the mind of Brandon, we’re talking more than just a slice down the street. For example, we’d only just met when he first told me—in superlatives I’ve come to know well—about Di Fara Pizza, a bare-bones corner spot in equally bare-bones Midwood, Brooklyn.*

“It’s heavenly,” he told me solemnly. “It’ll change your life. It’s quite possibly the best thing you’ll ever put in your mouth.”

Now, not being a natural exaggerator—nor a New Yorker—myself, my first instinct was to give him the old hairy eyeball. A bit of research confirmed that he wasn’t the only Di Fara disciple, but still, I was only cautiously enthusiastic. Pizza is fine stuff, but no slice had ever sent me swooning, much less happily traveling across the country and an hour and a half on a hot subway just for a bite. But then, dear reader, I set my hairy eyeball upon a slice at Di Fara.

Di Fara Pizza is a one-man show, owned and operated for the past forty years by Domenico DeMarco, a stoop-shouldered, asbestos-fingered Italian with an accent as rough as his pies are delicate.

At nine o’clock on the average night, the small shop is just beginning its evening rush. Customers arrive in twos or threes and, like us, press against the chest-high counter that separates the modest dining room—its five or so folding tables speckled with a dust of Parmigiano Reggiano—from Domenic’s kitchen: a couple of countertops, a tall steel-faced oven set to 700°, and, through a narrow doorway, a dark back room where one of his adult children can often be seen prepping ingredients or stirring a saucepot. Domenic stands alone behind the high counter, shuffling back and forth between a stack of pizza pans, a few pots of fresh herbs, and the oven. In a sort of instinctive reverence, we watch him quietly, with the fervent attentiveness of hungry—but well-trained—animals.

Di Fara’s pizza comes in two shapes: “square” and a more traditional New York “round,” as they’re listed on a board mounted high on the kitchen wall. The first is a complex, multi-step affair: a ½-inch thick rectangular crust rich with olive
oil, baked in multiple stages, topped with a stewy tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, slices from an entire fist-sized ball of fresh cow’s milk or buffalo-milk mozzarella, a dusting of Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padana from a hand-crank grater, fresh herbs from the windowsill, a drizzle of olive oil, and, if requested, additional toppings such as pepperoni or sautéed artichoke hearts. Rich like a dense focaccia, oozing and saucy with fresh cheese and simmered tomatoes, it’s the sort of pizza that demands a knife and fork—preferably plastic, so as to better match the paper plates.

But if you’re a true New Yorker—or the skeptical girlfriend of one—the round pie may well have you making grand proclamations. To be more specific, the first words out of my mouth upon getting this thing into it were, I believe, “This is innncredible!” Domenic paints the crust lightly with a sweet uncooked tomato sauce, dots it with shards of fresh herbs, and showers it with shredded mozzarella, slices of fresh cow’s milk or buffalo-milk mozzarella, grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padana, herbs, and finishes with a thin stream of olive oil. Minutes later, when he pulls the finished pie from the oven with his bare hands, the outer rim of the crust has risen and puffed into a delicious thing not unlike a rustic French baguette: crisp where it meets the tooth, its interior chewy and filled with air holes. The crust is Neapolitan-meets-New York, its underside toasty and splotched deep brown, bendy but not floppy, sturdy but delicate.

I may not yet be cozy enough with superlatives to declare it, à la Brandon, “the most incredible thing in the entire world [insert vocal exclamation points]”, but I can say without a hint of exaggeration that there are few things more delicious than a warm early-autumn night with frosty bottle of beer, a few Di Fara slices, a pile of napkins, and a certain New Yorker. I’ve learned by now, anyway, that if he gets too heavy on the hyperbole, a quick twirl of the curls at the nape of his neck is enough to distract him for a moment—or just long enough to steal a bite from the slice in his hand.

*Di Fara Pizza is located at 1424 Avenue J (the corner of Ave. J and E. 15th Street) in Brooklyn. It’s a far ride from, say, the Upper West Side, but from Union Square, it’s an easy trip on the Q line out to the Ave. J stop. And if you, like me, think a good pizza deserves a cold beer, don’t hesitate to run to one of the convenience stores on Ave. J to pick up a bottle or two while you wait for your pie. There’s usually a bottle opener on the counter at Di Fara, or you can rough it with your keys. And just for reference, as of September 8, 2005, a large round cheese pizza was a mere $15.00.


Stashing summer’s last gasp

When I left Seattle this morning, the city was still tucked snugly under a heavy blanket of clouds. It’s been this way for a week or two now, with autumn beginning its slow, sad tease, sending in an advance guard of low gray clouds every morning and sneaking the daylight away earlier and earlier every evening. Six-thirty this morning found me at the chilly bus stop with my wet hair and full suitcase, New York-bound and knowing too well that when I return, the Pacific Northwest summer may have already had its last gasp. The season will subtly shift its mandate from plum clafoutis to purple cabbage, from outdoor lamb roasts to oven-roasted chicken, and from test-kitchen beer floats to tea.

It’s not so bad, really. I’m a soups-and-stews girl at heart, anyway, and cool weather is as good an excuse as any to spend more time at the stove. But before I relinquish my halter tops, flip flops, and the oscillating fan, you can be sure I’ll stash a bit of summer in the freezer, in the form of a raspberry-blueberry pound cake.

This recipe has been my mother’s summertime standby for nearly twenty years, since it first appeared in Bon Appétit in July 1986. When the season calls, she opens the recipe card-catalog she keeps in a drawer in the kitchen, pulls out the index card reading “Blueberry-Raspberry Pound Cake,” and takes it, reference librarian-style, to the closet that houses her food magazines from the ‘80s to mid-‘90s. Today, the pages of that old Bon Appétit are yellowed around the edges and suffering a sort of low-grade rigor mortis, but the cake is no worse for the wear. Simple and sophisticated, its tight, buttery crumb is scented with kirsch and shot through with soft summer berries.

Served alongside a melty scoop of ice cream or dolloped with whipped cream, it makes a perfect barbeque dessert from July 4th to Labor Day. And even more importantly, it freezes beautifully, so after you’ve slipped out of your summer whites, you’ll find it goes remarkably well with a wool blanket and a pot of hot tea.

But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that too soon. After all, I’ll only be gone for ten days.

Raspberry-Blueberry Pound Cake
Bon Appétit, July 1986

This cake can be prepared a day or two ahead of serving; just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature. If you choose to freeze it for future occasions, wrap it in plastic wrap and then seal it in large freezer bag.
It’s an awfully easy way to get a last gasp of summer at any time of year.

5 large eggs
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ cup (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, at room temperature, plus a bit more for the pan
2 Tbs kirsch
2 cups plus 8 Tbs cake flour, plus a bit more for the pan
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries

Generously butter a 9-cup Bundt pan, and dust it with flour, shaking out the excess.

In the bowl of a food processor, blend together the eggs and the sugar until smooth and thick, about 1 minute, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the butter and kirsch, and blend until the mixture is fluffy, about 1 minute, stopping once to scrape down the bowl. Add 2 cups plus 6 Tbs flour, baking powder, and salt, and pulse twice or so to just combine. Do not overmix.

In a large bowl, toss the raspberries and blueberries with the remaining 2 Tbs flour. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter into the berries. Transfer this finished batter to the prepared Bundt pan, spreading it evenly across the top. Place the Bundt pan on the center rack in a cold oven, and turn the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted in the cake’s center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes; then invert it onto a rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature, with tea, ice cream, or whipped cream, as the weather dictates.