Some days we need a little sunshine. Heck, some years we need it. This would be one of those days in one of those years. This recipe is one I have been meaning to post since the day, in the depths of winter, a glorious box of Meyer lemons arrived from Cousin D in California. As if the lemons weren’t treat enough, they concealed some vintage lederhosen, which of course EVERYONE needs.
Similarly, everyone needs a bit if sunshine, and this loaf (easily Veganized) serves it up. It comes straight from Cookie and Kate, and was the answer to many questions, like:
What can I make that uses every part of these luscious lemons?
What can I make that is easy and delish?
What can pass off as a homemade dessert when we have visitors, or a satisfying snack or breakfast when we don’t?
What’s going to hit the above and have some redeeming nutritional qualities?
This is the answer to all that! I hope you like it, and that it brings a little sunshine to your day. After seeing what lemon zest does to sugar you will never let your lemons go unzested again.
Lemon Blueberry Sunshine Loaf
- 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 2 medium lemons, preferably organic, to be zested and juiced
- 1 cup sugar (organic cane sugar if you’re fancy)
- ¾ cup plain whole-milk (full fat) yogurt or Greek yogurt
- 3 extra-large eggs (aquafaba works great too)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, do not defrost!)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Optional accompaniments: coconut whipped cream or regular whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously butter and flour a 8½ by 4¼ by 2½-inch loaf pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Pour the sugar into a separate medium-sized mixing bowl. Grate all the zest from the lemons. Rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is yellow and fragrant. Add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla to the sugar mixture. Whisk well, until the ingredients are combined.
- When the mixture is well blended, gently whisk in the dry ingredients, just until incorporated. Switch to a spatula and fold in the oil, making sure it’s all incorporated. The batter will be shiny. In a separate bowl, toss the blueberries with about one teaspoon flour (this will help prevent them from sinking while the cake bakes.) Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the top is golden and the sides just start to pull away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons lemon juice and two teaspoons honey just long enough for you to whisk the honey into the juice. You can do this in your smallest saucepan over medium-low heat or in brief bursts in the microwave. Once the honey is mixed in, taste it—it should be pleasantly tart. If it’s too sour, mix in more honey. Using a pastry brush, brush the lemon-honey glaze on top of the warm cake. Repeat until you have no more liquid left.
- Run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan to loosen. Unmold the cake by placing a large plate or cutting board upside down over the loaf pan and carefully turning it over. Turn the cake back onto a flat surface to cool completely. Then slice and serve!
This is the PERFECT offering to bring anywhere anytime. It’s portable, sturdy and easy to eat at any venue. Bring it on!