Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blueberry and Lemon Tea Cakes

I love fresh, ripe, and plump blueberries in the summer.  They are at their prime for the entire year, and they are absolutely amazing.  I would buy them by the truckload if I could, but since I can't I just get a big crate of them at Sam's club, and go wild baking everything I possibly can.  Plus, I have a little snack while I'm slaving away in the kitchen....I pop them in my mouth every few minutes while I bake.  One of the best things about baking is the taste testing throughout the entire recipe.  :) 

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things to use whether baking or cooking is lemon.  It's so versatile, and delicious.  It just adds a little 'POP' to any dish.  I enjoy little treats like this with my morning tea, and that is where I came up with this recipe.  I think yummy breads or cakes go great with tea.  I took my base recipe that I have for my banana bread and came up with this delicious blueberry and lemon cake/bread.  I know you are going to die and go to heaven when you taste it.  I promise you will instantly fall in love with this yummy little treat.

1 stick unsalted Butter
2 cups Flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 Tbs. finely grated Lemon zest
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. freshly squeezed Lemon juice (about 4 lemons. just use the lemons you used for zesting)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
Pinch of Salt
2 large Eggs
1 1/4 cups fresh Blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 F
Butter 9-2 1/2x4 inch loaf pans and dust with flour but dumping out the excess.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved and the syrup thickens (about 4 minutes).  Set aside while you make the bread.

Meanwhile combine heavy cream, remaining 2 Tbs. lemon juice, and the vanilla in a bowl.  Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt in another bowl.

Beat the butter, lemon zest, and remaining cup of sugar with a mixer until it looks pale and fluffy.  Reduce the speed and add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well between each one.  Mix in the flour mixture in 3 additions alternating with the cream mixture.  So do 1 part flour mixture, 1 part cream mixture, 1 part flour mixture...etc.

Gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula trying to not break them apart too much.
Divide the batter evenly among the 9 pans and bake on a rimmed baking sheet.  You want to bake until you can insert a toothpick into the center of each cake and it comes out clean.  It should take about 30 minutes.

When the cakes are done baking, remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack.  (don't take the cakes out of the pans immediately.  You want them to cool inside their pans for about 15 minutes before removing them.  As soon as you take them out of the oven and put them on the cooling rack just take a knife and slowly go around the edges.  This will help with removal of the cakes once they are a little cool.

To serve you can just do it plain or how I serve mine is with a little fresh sweet cream butter for a morning treat, and if I'm eating it in the afternoon I will serve it with a little lemon glaze. Enjoy!!

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