Spruce tips are tasty and apparently loaded with vitamin C, and since they are abundant where I live, I am always looking for ways to cook with them. Spruce tips are the new growth that emerges at the end of the branches in the spring. They are light green and tender. Later in the season, as they darken, they lose their tenderness and are not so pleasant to eat.
I’ve had fun with spruce tip syrup and spruce tip shortbread. This year I decided to try making a spruce tip poundcake. It came out pretty good, with a delicate spruce flavor. Here’s the recipe.
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
3/4 cup sugar
5 T butter
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup spruce tips, chopped
Combine the flour, baking soda and powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together and beat well. Add the eggs one at time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three parts, alternating with the yogurt. Fold in the spruce tips. Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 for about 50 minutes, until golden brown.
I used a food processor to chop the spruce tips. You could do it with scissors or a knife instead, but I think that would be quite tedious. Next time I might try adding a full cup of spruce tips for a slightly stronger flavor. But I don’t want to overdo it. Too strong a spruce flavor would not be good, I think.
Here’s the local analysis:
Local – spruce tips (harvested in my neighborhood), eggs and butter (from local producers, bought at the co-op), yogurt (homemade from local milk)
Non-local – flour, baking soda and powder, salt, sugar, vanilla