Monday, February 4, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Bread

I freely admit it.  If lemons were people they would be my best friends.  I love them.  Living in Citrus land we have an abundance of the little gems.  I love their color, their smell, their flavor, the way they brighten everything they come in contact with, the power they hold over fish, the use in both sweet and savory dishes.  I don't know if I would be willing to live in a world where the lemon was non-existent. 
I had some fresh blueberries who were just about to go bad and some lemons who were calling out to me to be made into something delicious.  I came across this recipe and knew it was what these two ingredients were meant to become. 
This is a perfect quick bread recipe, soft and awesome in the middle and crusty on the edges.  You might think you don't want the end pieces because they are almost on the too brown side, but that is the piece you should fight for; it has soaked in all of the lemon/sugar glaze goodness and become the perfect bite. 
I made this recipe for the first time about 2 weeks ago and have since made (and eaten, almost single handedly) an additional 5 loaves (one I gave away).  It does not last long around our house.  The only one who doesn't love it is my 5-year old, but that's fine with me because that means one less person I have to share with. 
Tips:  I've made it separately with both fresh and frozen blueberries, both turn out great, the frozen blueberry loaf takes just a little bit longer to cook.  I've also tried baking 2 loaves at the same time and this also, takes a bit longer; I think I would rotate the pans if I did this again (swap which side of the oven they are on, left to right/right to left).  The lemons I use come from my mother-in-laws garden and are significantly more juicy than those I would get at the grocery store.  When I make the lemon/sugar glaze I use all the juice from one lemon, it is more than 2 Tbsp. but works perfectly still, (the lemons seem to give on average 1/3 c. juice).


1/3 c. butter, melted
1 c. sugar
1 lemon, juiced
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost if using frozen)

2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. sugar
The zest from 1 lemon

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour a 9X5" (or three 3X5" mini loaf pans) loaf pan, set aside.
2.  Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar; add the eggs and beat well.  Mix in the juice from 1 lemon and 2 Tbsp. lemon zest.  Add the flour half of the dry ingredients, then the milk, followed by the remaining dry ingredients, just until combined (mixing too long with make your bread tough and dry).  Gently fold in the berries. 
3.  Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake for 60-70 (35-45 for mini loaves) minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
4.  While bread is baking mix together the 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1/4 c. sugar and the remaining lemon zest.  When bread comes out of the oven and is still hot, pour the lemon/sugar mixture over the bread.  Cool completely and try to not eat the whole loaf in one sitting.

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