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Blueberry loaf cake

(Food styling/Sheryl Julian & Janine Sciarappa; Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)
June 29, 2011

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Makes 1 loaf

The crusty top on this unadorned cake comes from sprinkling with granulated sugar before baking.

Butter (for the pan)
Flour (for the pan)
1 pint (2 cups) fresh blueberries, picked over
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 cup whole milk
Extra sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit it exactly. Butter the paper and dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In a bowl, toss the blueberries with 1 tablespoon of the flour.

3. In another bowl, whisk the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt to blend them.

4. In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lemon rind.

5. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, blend in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour. Do not over-beat. It’s OK if there are traces of flour.

6. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. With a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries. Transfer the batter to the pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

7. Bake the cake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

8. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Turn it out of the pan, remove the paper, and set it right side up on the rack to cool completely.

Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven