French Yogurt Cake with Lemon and Blueberries

What goes well together?  What works?  How do we decide?  Classic pairings:  classic for a reason.  Nature tells us a lot- it is grows together, it

goes together… seasons giving us their best.  But we also have pairings that work simply because they’re delicious.  One of these classic pairings is blueberries and lemon.  Oh, what a combination!  Fresh summer Maine blueberries mixed with a little lemon zest has massive natural flavor.  It’s food synergy.  It’s magic. Once again I feel like I’m in New England in the summer time.  Going to Maine on vacation, picking up fresh lobsters and corn for dinner, sun drenched blueberries right from the farm, peaches, strawberries… These foods are perfect just the way they are.  They need very little manipulation.  A lot of people love to take summer produce at its peak of perfection, and preserve them, to enjoy them all year.  Making a beautiful and simple cake works.  Jams, jellies, preserves, tomato sauces… the same idea, but the idea is to capture the essence of these ingredients.  This cake holds the flavor of blueberries, surrounded by a lovely lemony delicate filling.  It’s perfect.

However-

This recipe is not mine.  I did not invent it, and only take credit for the addition of blueberries, which I think ‘make the dish’.  I found this recipe in a magazine, gave it a try, and loved it right away.  This is a wonderful play on classic French loaf cake, or pound cake.  A couple of things make this cake unique and uniquely delicious.  First, obviously, it incorporates the great combination of blueberries and lemon.  Second, we use Greek yogurt instead of milk or buttermilk.  When I bake, I love utilizing and accentuating natural flavors, and using cultured ingredients, like buttermilk or yogurt, add such wonderful flavors.  It really puts the dish over the top.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  1 hour
Yield:  8 servings

Ingredients:

Pan spray
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour + 1 tbsp for dusting
2 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tbsp finely chopped lemon zest
3/4 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large organic eggs
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Heat an oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a standard loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2) with the pan spray.  Dust the loaf pan with flour, making sure to lightly coat all sides.  Invert and gently tap out excess flour.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  In another large bowl, mix the sugar and lemon zest together with your finger.  Make sure to rub the sugar into the lemon.  The sugar should become slightly moist.  Whisk the yogurt, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract into the lemon sugar.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Do not overwork.   Gently fold in the blueberries.  Pour the batter into the load pan, smooth the top and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the toothpick test comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, and then turn on to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.

Slice and serve with fresh whipped cream.

Enjoy.

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