Makes one 9-inch loaf
Certainly there are other regions in the country where a blueberry cake cooling on the kitchen counter is a nostalgic summer sight. But in New England, a simple loaf packed with the berries is treasured. This tender, buttery batter, flavored with lemon rind and dredged with sugar before baking, goes into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper (natural parchment paper is thinner than the white and ideal for this). Lift the paper from the pan to remove the cake effortlessly and cut it into thick slices.
|Vegetable oil (for the pan)|
|Grated rind of 1 large lemon|
|1||teaspoon lemon extract|
|1¼||teaspoons baking powder|
|1½||cups fresh blueberries, picked over and stems removed|
|½||cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature|
|1||cup granulated sugar|
|¾||cup whole milk|
|Extra granulated sugar (for sprinkling)|
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Rub the inside of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan lightly with vegetable oil. Line the pan with a large sheet of parchment paper, pressing it against the sides and into the corners of the pan with your fingertips, leaving a small amount of overhang.
2. In a small bowl, combine the lemon rind and extract; set aside.
3. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to blend them.
4. In a third bowl, mix the blueberries with 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture.
5. In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter for 2 minutes. Add the sugar in 2 additions, beating well after each. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, then the lemon mixture. On low speed, blend in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl often.
6. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. With a large metal spoon, fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into the pan, mounding it slightly down the center. Sprinkle with sugar.
7. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the loaf is set and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake is clean when withdrawn or has a few moist crumbs attached.
8. Set the loaf on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Use the parchment to lift out the loaf and leave to cool completely on the rack. Peel back the parchment and cut the cake into thick slices with a serrated knife. Lisa Yockelson