It will probably make me sound weird and nerdy, but I really love going grocery shopping. And even though I have to keep dispensing lollipops and sippy cups to keep the troops from revolting in the middle of the pasta aisle, I really do enjoy it. And, above all, my favorite part of the store is the produce aisle.
I just love looking up and down the rows of shiny vegetables and beautifully colored fruits . . . and I take forever to actually decide what I want to buy. After all– nothing is worse than getting home and finding that you accidentally grabbed a container of moldy blueberries.
And this week, as I was oohing and aahhing over all the beautiful summer fruit, I spotted the most beautiful lemons I’d ever seen. They peeped shyly at me from the very top of the bin– their soft, yellow cheeks grinning like little sunshines. OK– that may be a little sickly sweet and poetic. But, seriously– they were perfect. Unlike some of their cousins who sported rough, black spots or weird green sides, these lemons were flawless– perfect and lightly golden without a flaw in sight.
So even though I already had a bag of lemons at home, I bought some more. I took those perfect, bright little beauties home. And I started going lemon crazy. I made Lemon Poppyseed Scones, Black and Blue Lemonade, Lemon Cream Bars, and Lemon Meringue Mousse. I’ve been trying to spread these lemon recipes out a bit, so you don’t think I bought stock in a lemon company, or something. 😉 But now, lucky you . . . it’s time for another lovely lemon recipe! 🙂
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Lemon Blueberry Bread
(Adapted from Live Well Bake Often)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 cup sour cream
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 cup fresh blueberries
Lemon Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tsp. lemon juice
Beat oil, vanilla/lemon extracts, eggs, sour cream, and lemon juice/zest until combined. Add in flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar until well mixed. Toss blueberries in an extra tsp. of flour and fold them into the batter. Grease 4 mini loaf pans (mine were about 2×4 inches, each) and divide batter equally between pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean. Invert loaves on cooling racks and cool before drizzling with lemon glaze.
Now, in pictures! 🙂
This is one of those beautiful, glorious recipes that is easy but turns out great all the time– moist, with tons of flavor. And it’s so easy that the steps will hardly take any time to explain. This means that (*mysterious music . . .*) you will have extra time for thinking great thoughts and conquering great tasks . . . or, you know, for like, watching television. 😉
Yes. It is possible to watch television that is NOT cartoons. I know your TV heads to Nick Jr. on autopilot, but you can actually pick something YOU want this time. You’re waiting for the bread to bake, right? Call it working. You’re welcome.
Start by putting all your “wet” ingredients (oil, vanilla/lemon extracts, eggs, sour cream, and lemon juice/zest) into the bowl of your stand mixer and mixing them together.
Next, add in your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar) and slowly mix, again. If you mix too quickly, you will suddenly find yourself singing “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas,” because everything in sight will have a beautiful, white dusting. Don’t ask me how I know this.
Now here’s a neat little trick for anytime you want to add berries, chocolate chips, nuts . . . whatever, to batter. If you coat the add-ins with a few teaspoons of flour, first, then they won’t sink to the bottom (like when you bite into a blueberry muffin and find that there aren’t any blueberries in the whole thing except the ones smashed and crowded into the bottom in almost jelly form. Eeewwwww.). So stir your berries gently with a little flour, and then fold those suckers into the batter.
I used mini loaf pans for these– mainly because they bake more quickly (which means you get to EAT delicious blueberry bread more quickly, which sounds A OK with me). The little mini sizes are also adorable for gifts around the holidays or for teacher appreciation gifts at the end of the school year. Yes. I used to be a teacher, and they absolutely earn and appreciate every time someone takes a moment to say “thank you.” As an old friend used to tell me, “If you’re too busy to say thank you, then you’re too busy.”
Bake the loaves in greased pans filled about 1/2-3/4 of the way full (the bread will rise significantly during baking, and you don’t want it to spill over the sides). They will need to bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes, until the loaves are slightly golden around the edges, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the loaves rest for about 5 minutes before you invert them onto a cooling rack to finish cooling, completely.
Now . . . for the glaze. This part is super easy, too– which is great. Whisk the lemon juice and powdered sugar, together, until the lumps are gone. Voila. Done. Don’t you wish everything were this easy?
When the loaves are cool, drizzle the glaze over the top and allow it to dry. If you want to get all fancy schmancy, you can sprinkle the top of the loaf with a little lemon zest or a few adorable citrus curls (basically like corkscrews made out of lemon peel– amazingly cute no matter where you put them). You can get the little channel knife that makes those citrus twists for about 7 bucks here. And trust me . . . when you get this thing, you’ll start “twisting” everything in sight, because it’s so fun. I may or may not have grabbed an orange out of my hubby’s hand as he was about to peel it, and scraped awesome little orange corkscrews out of it, first. Just because. *innocent face*
Cut yourself a nice, moist slice of citrus deliciousness. Put on some of your favorite music and grab your favorite drink. Get to your happy place.
You know, we really ought to do this more often. I wonder if there are any more of those gorgeous lemons, left? 😉
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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