Watch the weather on St. Swithin's Day

A sweet sister in Christ sent me a link, a few weeks ago, to this feast day recipe at Catholic Culture.

July 15, the feast of St. Swithin, is, apparently a day to watch the weather. It is said of this very popular English saint:

Saint Swithin's Day, if thou dost rain, for forty days it will remain; Saint Swithin's Day, if thou be fair, for forty days 'twill rain nae mair.
Saint Swithin's connection with the weather, and particularly with the rain, doubtless comes from the legend that in his humility he asked to be buried outside his cathedral, where passers-by would step over his grave and raindrops from the eaves would fall upon it. 


Rain or shine, it would be a lovely day to bake a summer cake in honor of this memorable saint (and as July 15 is also the feast of St. Bonaventure, you have a doubly good reason to celebrate). The thought, however, of baking an spiced apple cake (as the recipe at the link suggested) in the middle of July, when apples are hardly in their prime in the Midwest of the United States, did not sound quite right to me. Thus, I turned St. Swithin's cake into a delicious shortcake-like cake with wild blueberries on top. It could not be an easier cake to bake, with the aid of baking mix, and for me, a one-pound bag of frozen wild blueberries. Blueberries are in season in much of America right now, but my bushes are not producing well this year, so a bag of frozen berries did the trick. (If you choose to use fresh berries, your baking time should be quite a bit shorter so set the timer for about 30 minutes and then check it every five minutes or so until it's done.)

My family enjoys any fruity cake, warm from the oven, with just a drizzle of cold heavy cream, but it would be delightful, as well, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a squirt of sweetened whipped cream. It would be a wonderful coffee cake for breakfast, at tea time, or for dessert.

I modified the recipe to accommodate my frozen blueberries, but refer back to the original recipe if you'd like an apple cake, and remember to shorten your baking time if you use unfrozen (fresh) berries.

St. Swithin's Summer Cake
(will it rain or will it shine?)

2 cups biscuit mix*
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 lb. frozen wild blueberries, thawed 
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine biscuit mix and 1/3 cup sugar. 
Combine eggs and cream; stir into biscuit mix with fork. 
Spread dough in bottom of greased 8-inch springform pan. 

Pour thawed blueberries on top of the dough, spreading to an even layer, but avoiding touching the pan if possible. 
Sprinkle with sugar. Pour melted butter evenly over all. 

Bake at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes, testing just before timer goes off. 
Cool slightly and remove sides of the pan. Serve warm, cut into wedges with cream or ice cream.

*I use this recipe for a foolproof homemade version of standard Bisquick -- just a quick whirl in the processor and I store it in a glass jar.

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  1. This is such an interesting post and the cake looks delicious! Thank you for posting, Barbara! :)

  2. This was really, really yummy for breakfast. :) I made it with fresh berries and I'm pretty sure my springform pan is 9 took about 35 minutes to cook. Also just now realizing I forgot to sprinkle the extra sugar on top. :) We did drizzle cream on the top. Highly recommend that.