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Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Little Things In Life Make Us Happy

One of my friends said it best, "It's never good if your blueberries are sinking."  And I totally agree.   I think we have all made quick bread recipes or cakes where the items that are supposed to be suspended in the batter through out the cooking time, have all sunk to the bottom and made  a two layer mess. I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me.  

Needless to say, when I made this recipe and the blueberries didn't sink, I was very excited.   It's the little things in life that make us happy.   This Blueberry loaf is easy to make and the batter is thick enough to suspend the blueberries throughout the cooking time.  When you slice into this loaf  you can get a blueberry  in nearly every bite.  This can make the person eating the loaf a very happy person.  This is not an overly sweet tasting loaf, it is just right. The lemon flavor is very mild and the blueberries are tart.  

Blueberry Lemon Loaf
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons lemon juice
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter milk
2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
4 tablespoons grated lemon peel


Crumb Topping (optional)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsalted butter
Small hand full of blueberries (for top of loaf)
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Next, I take a couple of tablespoons of flour and put it into a separate bowl.  Then I add the frozen blueberries and shake them around in the flour until they are covered.   Once they are covered in flour fold them into the batter with the nuts and lemon peel.
Pour batter into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans.
Combine ingredients for crumb topping.  I make mine in the food processor but it can be done by hand with a pastry cutter.   I start by cutting a frozen stick of butter into smaller chunks and place them in the food processor.  Then I add the remaining ingredients for the topping. Put the lid on the food processer and whir it until it looks like a coarse grain.   Sprinkle on top of loaf to your liking.  I then add a few blueberries to the top here and there, poking them into the crumb topping just a little bit.
Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.


Notes and Swaps
  • Remember oven temperatures can vary.  It is wise to check your bread at 55 minutes and
  • Do not over mix the batter, it will make the glutens start to work and can make your bread tough.
  • Keep checking until it is done.  It is important not to overcook the bread. Over cooking will dry it out.
  • If using frozen blueberries, use without thawing to avoid discoloring the batter.
  • I make extra crumb topping and keep it in the freezer in a Ziploc bag for use in the next recipe requiring a crumb topping.
  • You could swap out the lemon flavor with orange juice and orange zest.