One of my happiest childhood memories was spent at my Aunt Jetta and Uncle Will's farmhouse in Fancy Gap, VA, at the very top of the Blue Ridge Mountains with my cousin Renee when we were 13 (we were two months apart). It was a magical place where we'd dance in the rain and share secrets. Fast forward nearly half a century, the tiny farmhouse is still there. My cousin Renee and her husband Alan, however, have built a beautiful mountain-top home on the property where our families often gather. It is this city girls secret retreat. This summer my daughter Lily, the Hungry Monkey and Renee's daughter, Jess joined us. They picked fresh blueberries one morning and it inspired me to make this glorious Blue Ridge Mountain Blueberry Lemon Cake with a lemon buttermilk icing since Jess' favorite sweet treat flavor is lemon! (I adapted an Ina Garten recipe to include the fresh blueberries). It's rich, yet surprisingly light at the same time, and oh so moist from the addition of yoghurt. The fresh blueberries not only add a pop of color, but additional sweetness. There is nothing better than piking your own fruit and baking with it the same day.
- 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
For the glaze:
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 Tbs of buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated and add the blueberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
- When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
- For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice, buttermilk and pour over the cake.