We are reposting this family favorite.
School is nearly out and that means summer is about to begin. We don’t have huge plans this year. I think we are all so glad to be in one place that we are going to take advantage of this new life living so close to an ocean and call it staycation time. I often wonder if people who have lived here much longer than us feel the need to get away for a proper vacation when they have this gorgeous landscape right in their backyards. Maybe we are just still so new to it that it is still a bit of a novelty. In any event, it is a novelty that I hope never wears off.
Two flavors that say summer to us are lemons and blueberries. In the summer we love to go blueberry picking. We pick pints and pints of blueberries and then bring them home and use them up quickly to make cakes and jams. We freeze them for those autumn and winter days when fresh fruit is a distant memory. And while it is not quite blueberry picking time yet, we caved in and bought a pint at the market. We wanted to use them with one of our favorite recipes for lemon cake. We have featured this lemon cake before…in the very early days of Charlotte Julienne as it was a treasured family recipe passed down from my grandmother. It is wonderful served all by itself but this time around we had a bowlful of blueberries we needed to use up and three containers of heavy cream (don’t ask) so decided to make a blueberry whipped cream to accompany the cake.
To make the cake we creamed 1/2 cup oil and 1 cup of sugar and then added two eggs, the zest and juice of one lemon along with 1 teaspoon of lemon extract and then mixed it all together before adding 1/2 cup of milk. One and a half cups of flour were sifted with one teaspoon of baking powder and one teaspoon of salt. The dry mixture was mixed into the wet until combined. This was poured into a bread pan and baked at 350 for about an hour.
Do you ever notice that some things are better when they are truly cooled? This cake is one of those things that just gets better and better as it rests. We made the cake the day before and let it sit in its pan all night. The next morning it was pierced with a knife and drizzled with a mixture of sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice. This makes the inside of the cake moist and lemony. The cake was then left to sit for about an hour before the edges were discarded and the cake was sliced vertically into thin layers.
A handful of blueberries were pureed and then folded into the whipped cream before it was layered in-between thin slices of this citrusy cake. The top got sprinkled with lemon zest and blueberry juice. Our kids devoured what was on their plates and a conversation was had about my grandmother and her recipe and what made her a great-grandmother rather than an aunt to my son who is still trying to figure out how family trees work.
Fresh, light and summery- the perfect way to start our little staycation..a few days early at that.