random Facts About Blueberries:
- I can only stand the taste when they’re baked in something – pancakes, muffins, scones, cookies, etc.
- Most blueberries in the U.S. are grown in Maine and Michigan.
- They are the largest fruit crop in Canada (I know, you’d think it’d be oranges)
- Packed with antioxidants, they are one of the healthiest foods on the planet you can eat.
- They also act as a natural laxative.
- Marlo eats a lot of them.
- I change a lot of diapers because of them.
Marlo really has a tumultuous relationship with the blueberry. One day, they’ll have a love affair. She’ll squeal and kick for more blueberries while she has about 12 already packed in her cheeks. However, as quickly as the next day – she won’t even look at one. She passive aggressively tells me she doesn’t want them by picking them up off her tray and tossing them over her shoulder.
When blueberries are in the doghouse, it’s up to me to rescue them before they go bad. As mentioned above, I won’t just eat them. I don’t care for the weird flavor raw, but baked – that’s a whole different story. Last week, I had lemons and blueberries that needed a purpose in life before they checked out, and I thought they would be perfect working partners in their final frontier. I found this recipe and must say that this was one of my favorite quick breads. A lot of flavor, sweet, sour, crunchy, moist – everything you’re looking for (at least everything I’m looking for). The only issue I had was I absolutely could not get it out of the loaf pan for the life of me. So butter your pan well.
Lemon Blueberry Bread
Adapted from Joy of Baking
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
demerara sugar (optional but adds a nice crunchy crust)
sliced almonds (ditto)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray – this is what I did, hence loaf stayed in pan) the bottom and sides of a loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3 inch).
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and cover with a thin layer of demerara sugar followed by a layer of sliced almonds. Gently press the almonds into the batter a little, just so they don’t fall off after it’s baked. Bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
About 10 minutes before the bread is done, in a small saucepan, bring the 1/4 cup (50 grams) of sugar and the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Pierce the hot loaf all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick and then brush the top of the loaf with the hot lemon glaze. Cool the loaf in the pan for about 30 minutes then remove from pan (if you’re lucky) and let cool completely on a wire rack. This bread is best served on the day it is made.