I’ll paint my mood in shades of blue, paint my soul to be with you. -Céline Dion
Years ago, when we were but newlyweds, while hiking in the Charlevoix region of Québec, we noticed blueberry shrubs growing all along the side of the trail. They were the famous bleuets sauvages, the wild blueberries of Québec. They have been thriving here for thousands of years, native to the glacial soils of our boreal forests. It was early in the season and the berries were young and green. But how ever young and green they were, they were waiting; waiting for eager hands to seek them when the time was right, when they would be ripened to shades of blue.You know, us humans, we are no different. “All our young lives we search for someone to love. Someone who makes us complete. We dance to a song of heartbreak and hope. All the while wondering if somewhere, somehow, there’s someone perfect, who might be searching for us.” (The Wonder Years)
And there was. And he had found me.Late summer, here in Québec, is the season of wild blueberries. We can forage for them or, as I do, buy them by basketfuls at the farmers market. Once home, we wash and dry them with as much care as they are wild. What doesn’t get eaten and used right away, we freeze with the hope that the supply will last until the next season. If we are lucky, it will last until Christmas.
This blueberry lemon cake is always a must-make once these wild berries are available. It is rich in flavour and deserves no less than these sweetest berries. This is not a summer cake. This is a late summer cake or an autumn cake, or if your supply of wild berries can last, even a winter cake. Tinged with just enough cinnamon to warm your soul in cooler weather. Rustic, yet perfect for breakfast, dessert or teatime.
Blueberry Lemon Cake with Cinnamon (adapted from Canadian Living’s Best Fruit, p. 30)
- 113 g butter, softened
- 120 g white sugar
- 40 g brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 450 g white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cups wild blueberries (either fresh or frozen will work)
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugars until well combined and smooth.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and lemon rind.
- Add 1/3 of flour mixture to butter mixture followed by 1/2 of the milk. Continue until all the flour mixture and milk is used up. With each addition, do not beat more than what is required to just combine.
- Fold in blueberries.
- Scrape batter into greased 10-inch (3 L) Bundt pan (I use a springform Bundt pan).
- Bake for 1 hour or until cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (Note if using frozen berries, baking will take about 20 minutes longer.)