Huckleberry Hounds – Montana

Northwest Montana is home to the edible purple orb known as the huckleberry. A close cousin to the blueberry, this delectable fruit grows best between elevations of 3,500 and 7,000 feet, in forests with about 50 percent tree cover. Wild huckleberries are so treasured in the state that in 2007, Montana passed legislation that made it a misdemeanor to label a product “huckleberry” if it contains any other fruit.

Huckleberry Tea Cake

The huckleberry has never been successfully grown commercially so if you want a taste of these sweet jewels, you’ll have to get thee out to Montana and get to picking. The North Fork and Big Mountain are popular picking areas, according to Distinctly Montana magazine. Just be careful as they’re a favorite fruit of black bears and grizzlies who roam the slopes of the North Rockies. Huckleberry season is late-July through mid-August.

Try this Huckleberry Tea Cake. You can substitute blueberries if you can’t find huckleberries in your area but Montana natives will scoff and call you names; they swear that a huckleberry has a more robust taste than a blueberry.

The Huckleberry Capital of Montana is Trout Creek, which hosts a Huckleberry Festival, August 8-10, 2014.

Huckleberry Tea Cake

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup huckleberries (can substitute blueberries)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9X9 baking pan or a 9-inch round cake pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl with a wooden spoon beat the egg. Gradually add the white sugar. Beat well. Add the dry sifted ingredients to the sugar mixture, alternating with the milk, beating well with each addition. Add butter and vanilla. Mix well. Gently fold in the huckleberries. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake 25 minutes or until top springs back lightly when touched.

 

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