Happy April! As the saying goes, “April Showers bring May Flowers.” We are off to a good start, as the temperatures have dropped about 30 degrees from yesterday, and we’re seeing rain showers all day. I do love a good rain storm, but I’m not really a fan of low temps. Warm rain is my favy.
Did anyone play any good April Fools on their spouses or kids? Or maybe you got Fooled today? I want to hear about it. I’m not much into the fooling of other people, nor do I like to get fooled. But I like to hear about other peoples’ trickery.
Well, now that it’s April, I am so excited to tell you about this month’s ingredient of the month! Last month was kind of a weak start to the whole Ingredient of the Month thing, only because I was bombarded with the moving of the blog to a new domain name/host/platform/etc. Now I’m ready to get down to business and get serious about it. I have some delicious recipes to bring to you this month. To highlight the spring season, I decided to feature Lemons for this month’s ingredient, and boy am I excited!
My first recipe highlighting this refreshing citrus is one of the first recipes I found on Pinterest when I first joined the site. I don’t know why it took me this long to make it, but let me just tell you, I sure do wish I had brought this Lemon Blueberry Cake into my life months earlier! It is light and sweet. Bright and sunshiny. Fluffy and Moist. I can’t say enough good things about this cake, and there really aren’t enough adjectives to describe it. So instead, I think you should try it out yourself.
I’m also excited to bring you a tip from the great Joy the Baker Cookbook on how to get the most flavor out of your fruit zest: Joy says to put your measured out granulated sugar on a cutting board or clean counter, and then add your zest to the sugar. Use the back of a spoon or your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar. This releases the essential oils of the zest, which is where all the flavor is. This will enhance the lemon flavor and fragrance in your entire recipe.
Glazed Lemon-Blueberry Cake
adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
For the Loaf:
- 1 1/2 cups + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup Vanilla yogurt (I used Tillamook Vanilla Bean)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed
For the Lemon Syrup:
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
For the Lemon Glaze
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9×5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together together the yogurt, sugar + lemon zest (see tip above), eggs, vanilla, and oil.
Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.
Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 Tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of the loaf and let is drip down the sides. Let the glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.
For this recipe, I used a few tools for optimum results:
Doesn’t that look so delightful? On a spring afternoon with a glass of iced tea on your front porch. Ahhhhh!
You aren’t going to want to miss any of the lemon recipes I have in store for you this month. A couple desserts. I have got quite the treat for you when I put a twist on a classic lemon bar. Maybe a drink. An easy weeknight dinner.