Blueberries are rather rare here in Mumbai. Thanks to some exotic food stores, however, we’ve been getting an occasional supply of good blueberries without having to trudge all the way to Crawford Market. At first, I would pop them in my mouth just like that, making the most of their berry goodness, especially after reading and hearing so much about how all berries are good for us BRCA prone damsels in distress. No trouble there–I love berries of all kind–strawberries topping the list, followed closely by the Indian jamun and gooseberry.

So anyway, as the supply of blueberries steadily rose and their prices began to fall, I started indulging in baking with them. I love how you can just pop them in whole and they will bleed their blue juices in the heat of the oven, revealing to you their tie-and-dye patterns as you pull your product out. Remember these?

Given that I am in a particularly citrus-in-baking mode, I wanted to make a nice pound cake using the blueberries and the lovely monsoon lemons that we get here–smooth, shiny skinned, with the most zesty, aphrodisiacal aroma you could imagine. Thanks to the lemons, the pound cake did not turn out dense and heavy–both flavor-wise and volume-wise. The crumb was satiny smooth, and the top was an even, perfectly caramelized gold.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 150 gms. all-purpose flour
  • 150 gms. caster sugar
  • 150 gms. unsalted butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • Grated rind of 1 medium-sized lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of blueberries

Method:

  1. Sieve the flour and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the salt and grated lemon rind and mix lightly.
  3. In a blender, place the eggs, butter, and sugar and blend for a minute until well-combined and creamy.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and blend again, for just a few seconds.
  5. Pour into the flour mixture and combine with a light hand.
  6. Grease and dust a pan of choice and cover the base with the blueberries. Let a few berries sit on top of each other so you end up with a nice, irregular pattern.
  7. Pour the batter on top of the blueberries. If some rise to the top, don’t worry–they will sink with the heat. And even if they don’t, they will look pretty as they burst in in their irregular pattern.
  8. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees centigrade for about an hour or until evenly golden on the top and springy to touch. A skewer inserted should come out clean.
  9. Serve warm or cold.

You could ice it with a white chocolate ganache or vanilla or lemon buttercream, but I don’t see why anyone should do anything to this baby. Except, maybe, throwing in the leftover blueberries in a pan with some sugar, boiling it down to a sauce and spooning some more blueberriness on the cake.