Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

One of the best parts about the summers here is the annual harvest of all types of delicious fruits and vegetables.  There are so many family-owned farms in the area that open up their fields and fruit trees to the public and welcome the picking of the fresh produce.  One of my favorite fruits to pick are blueberries.  There are several wonderful blueberry farms in our area that grow the biggest, juiciest berries I have ever seen.  They are so much more flavorful than anything you can find in the grocery stores.  I usually pick about 5-8 gallons worth of berries and then immediately bake up a bunch of blueberry-studded treats to share with friends and family before freezing any excess berries for use throughout the winter months.

I spied this cake several years ago in an issue of Fine Cooking Magazine and was immediately struck by how perfectly moist and light appearance of the crumb.  I normally do not like most pound cakes because of their dense, heavy, and sometimes dry nature.  However, this looked like the sort of cake that could change my mind.

The original recipe calls for the use of lime zest and juice.  However, I could not resist switching it to the classic combination of blueberry and lemon simply because I was craving a lemon sweet.  I'm sure the lime would be divine and I do plan on making that variation next time I bake this cake.

And there WILL be a next time.  This cake was so incredibly moist and fresh-tasting.  It was a treat to have on hand for brunch and I was so pleased to be able to share it with my siblings when they came to visit!  My sister Jane especially loved the cake, so I promised I would post this recipe in its entirety just for her.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake
adapted from Fine Cooking

For the Cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking power
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
4 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups room-temperature blueberries

For the Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with cooking spray with flour.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until fragrant.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar/zest mixture and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the egg yolk. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then beat the batter on medium speed for about 20 seconds, or until smooth and light. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the blueberries.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Tap the pan against the counter to eliminate air pockets. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes then turn the cake out and set on the rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze: Place the confectioners' sugar in a small bowl and whisk in the lemon juice, a few teaspoons at a time, until you have a thick, but pourable consistency for the glaze. Drizzle over the cake; let the glaze set before serving.

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