All this snow…
Has me thinking about spring.
Contrary to what the pallor of my complexion may lead you to believe (in 7th grade my bare midsection may or may not have overexposed film in a beach photo), I was born & raised in Southern California. As much as I love having seasons, I had a rude awakening when I went away to college & learned that not everywhere in the country has ripe, fresh produce year-round. So I do the best I can, & especially in the winter, I often end up taking the frozen route.
But not with this recipe. I repeat: frozen will not work with this recipe. I’ve tried. You just can’t have perfection like this without fresh, juicy blueberries.
So every year I keep my eye out for the first batch of fresh blueberries that come in, just for this cake. As you can see, it’s totally worth the wait. It comes from a trusted source: my parents’ Ward Cookbook. I firmly believe that most Ward Cookbooks offer a better variety of delicious recipes I’ll actually cook (because all these people actually have cooked them with small humans tugging at their pantlegs, rather than having their test kitchen minions do all of the work). Better still, I know the cook who submitted this recipe, & anything coming from him is going to be the most delicious thing you’ve ever tasted.
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp. lemon extract
- 3 large eggs
- zest of 2 lemons (1 1/2 Tbsp. or more)
- juice of 2 lemons (1/4 cup or a little more), divided
- 1 container (8 oz.) sour cream (not reduced-fat)
- 1 carton fresh blueberries, washed & thoroughly dried
- 1 cup powdered sugar
A quick note about juicing the lemons. To keep seeds out of your juice, try Giada de Laurentiis’ method. I want to be her when I grow up… Keep them at room temperature so they release the most juice. Roll each one on the counter with your palm flat, applying a little pressure. Then cut in half & hand-squeeze (I start it out a little bit with my wooden hand juicer first) with the cut side to your palm & your fingers facing up towards you. Your palm will catch the seeds. I may or may not have taken this photo upside-down & left-handed to catch the action shot…
- Preheat oven to 350. Butter & flour a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan (I prefer the PAM Baking spray because it’s all 1 step). Combine flour, soda, & salt in a bowl; stir well with whisk.
- Beat butter in stand mixer until light & fluffy. Gradually add sugar & lemon extract, beating until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon zest & 2 Tbsp. of the lemon juice; beat 30 seconds.
- With mixer on low, add flour mixture to sugar mixture, alternating with sour cream, beginning & ending with flour mixture.
- Remove bowl from mixer & fold in blueberries.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour & 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
- Combine remaining lemon juice with powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over cake. Enjoy when glaze is set.
I had The Munchkin help me stir the glaze, so that’s why it’s a little lumpy.
Unfortunately, it seems she preferred poking the blueberries to actually eating them; she’d only eat the lemon part. Which reminds me: you can make this without the blueberries. But that wouldn’t be as fun, would it?