I love summer more than any other time of year - I love the sun, I love pools, I love the smell of sunscreen...I love dresses and sandals and the sand between my toes and everything else that comes along with summer.
This past weekend, we stopped at a little local produce stand and picked up some blueberries and strawberries - and I couldn't wait to use them for baking.
My husband apparently also couldn't wait to use them for ...eating...so I was short some fresh blueberries in this recipe. No worries, because I used frozen but I personally think fresh blueberries in baked goods is basically the best thing ever.
But before I get to the recipe can I just say this? It was a battle of wills tonight between my one year old and I at bedtime. I was determined to win, but you know how it is - for such little people, kids are HIGHLY determined to do what they want. It's enough to make a mother crazy, until you can't take the crying and screaming one more second and you give in to hugs and snuggles and sing "You are my Sunshine" for the hundredth time. And just when you think you can't possibly rock or sing for one more second, you see this staring up at you:
So you become more patient than you ever knew possible, and continue rocking and singing and it is still a battle of the wills, because this child STILL REFUSES to close his eyes and just stares up at you like the sweetest, most innocent thing as if to say, "Mom, that was definitely not me screeching like a banshee earlier."
Please tell me it's not just me?! He did finally go to sleep, a good 2 hours later than normal, which is pretty unlike him so I had to just chalk it up to something being off with him and assuming he just needed me more than he usually does at bedtime.
And now that I'm beyond exhausted, I can at least curl up on the couch with a cup of decaf and a slice of this DELICIOUS bread/cake/medley of yummy summer fruits.
This recipe comes from Sweet Peas Kitchen
I made a handful of changes to this recipe to make it a little healthier - and added strawberries to it. You can check out my adaptation below or use the recipe from the original link!
Once you bake the bread, you poke holes in it with toothpicks or a skewer (I used a bamboo skewer, because I wanted the holes to go nice and deep into the bread) Then you'll pour a lemon syrup slowly over the top, or brush it on with a pastry brush. Mmmm...
Then, when that has cooled, you pour a lemon glaze all over the top...
And then you DIG IN.
The men in my house LOVED this bread/cake/dessert. Even with my healthy substitutions (except the glaze, I gave up trying with that one and just went with it...), this is a moist and flavor filled dessert. It's like a cross between bread and cake and every bite has a delicious lemon zing to it!
If I were to make it again - for ME personally - I'd probably skip the lemon syrup and glaze. It was a little too sugary for me, but I don't do much sugar anymore and that might be why. Experiment with it and see what you like best!
Lemond Strawberry Blueberry Bread
For the Loaf:
- 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour, divided
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup yogurt (greek, coconut milk, almond milk, regular...whatever you prefer!)
- 1 cup coconut palm OR granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 1 lemon)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed
For the Lemon Syrup:
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup coconut palm OR granulated sugar
For the Lemon Glaze:
- 1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and applesauce. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries and strawberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
- While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.
- Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
- To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.
This dessert is so good and so summery, it will have you dreaming of summer vacation in no time!
What are your favorite summer fruits?