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Food and Drink

This cake lets your blueberries shine

  • Author: Kim Sunée
  • Updated: September 8, 2017
  • Published September 8, 2017

This moist, delicious cake has a lemony bite. (Kim Sunee)

Blueberry season is in full swing, and with all the top-secret foraging places it's nice to be able to openly share ways in which to feature this local beloved fruit. Last summer, I wrote about blueberry-cured red salmon, kindly shared by Diane Wiese, a Seattle-born Cordova resident since 1976. The deep purple-hued salmon is my favorite savory preparation using blueberries.

On a sweeter note, I really love this cake recipe based on one by the Israeli-British chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi.

It's moist and delicious and really lets the blueberries shine. I changed the flour-to-almond-meal ratio and the sugar amounts as well; I love the lemony bite but I've found that fresh orange also brightens it all up and toasted almonds offer a nice crunch.

Serve with whipped cream or yogurt, plain or infused with some fresh lemon verbena or mint leaves or some ground cardamom. If you have a kitchen scale, it's best to use one for more accurate measuring.

Blueberry almond cake

1/2 cup, plus 3 tablespoons/150 grams unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon/180 grams granulated sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Scant 2/3 cup/80 grams all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons/120 grams almond flour or almond meal

1 1/2 cups/200 grams fresh blueberries, divided

2/3 cup confectioner's sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease a 9- or 8-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray. If you prefer, you can also line pan with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch hangover on each side for easy lifting of the cake. Butter the parchment. Set the pan aside.

Place butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a mixing bowl and use a hand mixer). Beat on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until light and airy, then lower speed to medium. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mixture might look curdled, but not too worry — it will all come together in the end.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and almond flour. Set the stand mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing just until all the flour is blended. Fold in about 3/4 of the blueberries, using a spatula or wooden spoon. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and add remaining blueberries over the top of the loaf; bake another 15 to 20 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and continue to bake another 20 to 30 minutes and until a tester inserted comes out mostly clean. Remove pan from oven and let cake sit in pan about 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the pan if not using parchment, remove cake from pan and let sit on a wire rack to cool.

While cake is cooling, make the icing by combining confectioner's sugar with lemon juice; whisk until combined and smooth. Add more sugar if too runny or a little more lemon juice if too thick. Pour over the cake and let cool about 30 minutes before serving.

Kim Sunée is a former food editor and bestselling author of "Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home." Her new book, "Everyday Korean," is available for preorder and will be published in November. For more food and travel visit instagram.com/kimsunee.

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