Monday, August 15, 2011

Butter + Lemons + Blueberries = A Sweet Occasion Equation; Sometimes A Cake Mistake Can Turn Out Great

I came across a cake recipe I'd wanted to try at the height of blueberry season and my opportunities were dwindling almost as fast as summer days. We had a family gathering this weekend: my niece, her husband and their adorable daughter were visiting from Florida and we got together at my home on Staten Island for a rainy-day repast. I  seized the opportunity and decided to give the lemon blueberry cake a try with my captive audience.

The recipe was intended to be rich: a couple of sticks of butter, buttermilk, 4 eggs, several lemons and of course the blueberries. I decided to save a few calories and subbed 1% milk for the buttermilk but that was about all of the ingredient swaps I dared make. In the spring I made a butter cake with lots of changes and it was a bit of a disaster. I wanted this cake to look and taste great.

In the end when the cake was safely in the oven, I noticed the pack of blueberries on the counter. I had forgotten to fold them into the cake before baking! To save the day, I decided to dredge them in 1/4 cup of confectioner's and granulated sugar mix and place them on top before I applied the lemon/butter glaze. Actually, it make great presentation and was a little more festive-looking than it was intended to be.

The cake was rich even without the buttermilk, the lemon glaze refreshing and the dredged blueberries added a sweetness that was pleasing to all. Sometimes mistakes can be a good thing.

Buttery Lemon Blueberry Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup nonfat buttermilk (I subbed 1% milk)
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh grated lemon zest (about 3 lemons)
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
3 tablespoons lemon zest (about 3 lemons)
1 stick melted unsalted butter

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10 inch tube pan. 
  • Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix well.
  • Sift flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour mix to butter mix in stages alternating with the milk.
  • Stir in lemon zest and juice. Fold in blueberries or save for top as I did...or do both!!
  • Pour batter into buttered pan smoothing top.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes testing to make sure cake is done. Cool on rack for ten minutes.
  • Prepare the glaze whisking ingredients in a small bowl.
  • invert cake onto plate. Prick with a toothpick and apply glaze. 
  • If you are adding blueberries to the top, dredge them in a sugar mix of granulated sugar and confectioners sugar. Place on top and around the base of cake before applying the glaze.

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