Monday, May 21, 2012

Lemon-Blueberry Pound Cake, Blueberry Gelato, and the Force

I was watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother awhile ago (one of my absolute favorite shows), and Ted and Marshall had this brilliant tradition. Every three years they would watch the Star Wars Trilogy all in a row (the classics, not that crappy new stuff). I just thought, that sounds like an amazing idea, especially since they're my favorite movies, yet I have never done that before (plus, Marshall said that if you didn't, the dark side would win....and that. cannot. happen). So me and my friends, Nichole, Katie, and Tyler decided that it needed to happen, it had to happen. 

And can I tell you what? It was amazing. I just sat there the whole time thinking that these movies are waaaaaaay better than just about any of the computer-generated crap they call action sci-fi movies nowadays (I do not include Iron Man, The Avengers, Star Trek(yes, all of them), and X-Men First Class in this because those movies are kick-ass). I love the story, the actors, the graphics, the settings, and we decided that a bartender R2D2 must be in our lives (but not the stuff they thought it would be okay to add in and be totally obvious, I do not need to see the whole empire dancing once the emperor is killed, thank you. I was perfectly fine without it before and I still am). Okay. I'll stop waxing poetically about the amazingness of Star Wars because I'm pretty sure that isn't why you read my blog. 

So of course, since this was going to be an all day event, we were going to need some sustenance. I decided to make a Lemon-Blueberry pound cake (that is also serving as my breakfast this week) and some Blueberry Gelato to go with it! I love those flavors, and I've been itching to make some homemade gelato because it's been awhile since I last had. (Please prepare yourself for a long, picture-heavy blog post. I apologize. Well, no I don't. Because I love blogging, so I like the occasional long post. So read on!)

First up, the gelato! The thing about the recipes I use is that they can take a couple days to really make, so it's definitely not one of those instant gratification desserts, but the wait is always worth it. 

You'll start by putting 3 cups of fresh blueberries in a pot and sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice over them. You'll mix it up so they're well coated and the sugar has dissolved, and then let it sit for 30 minutes (In the below picture, I have it on the stove, but you won't turn the heat on just yet!)

While the blueberries were marinating, I started the base. You'll pour 2 cups whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream into a saucepan. You'll then put it on medium-low heat

You'll let that sit over the heat until tiny bubbles start to form (can you see those bubbles? It was hard to get a good picture of them). 

Once those bubbles have formed, in a heat proof bowl, you'll combine four egg yolks and 2/3 cup sugar, and whisk hardcore until it's light yellow.

You'll then temper in the cream and milk mixture to the egg and sugar mixture. This means you'll pour in a bit at a time so as not to "scramble" the eggs. Once you have it all combined and whisked well together, you'll pour it back into the pan, over low heat, and let it thicken up and coats the back of the spoon. Then you'll pour the finished custard into a bowl (through a fine mesh strainer), let it cool to room temperature (stirring every few minutes), cover it, and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours. I usually do this part at night and let it chill over night.

While working on the base, and the blueberries have sat for 30 minutes, you'll turn the eye on to low heat and let the blueberries become a syrup. They'll break down and will deflate some, but won't completely turn to syrup (which is fine because then you'll have fresh blueberry bits to prove that it's real!). And once that is done, and cooled to room temperature, you'll also put that in the fridge.

The next day (or four hours later if you're doing all of this in one day), you'll blend the blueberries with about half of the base.

Once that's well blended, pour it into the rest of the base and whisk your little heart out! I also decided that I wanted to add just about 1/2 tsp of vanilla to give it a little more of a blueberries 'n cream taste. GENIUS move, Carolyn. GENIUS.

I then put the mixture into my ice cream maker, and let it church for about 30 minutes!

When the gelato was done churning, I poured it into my container and then froze it for a couple of hours so it would finish setting. Of course, before washing the dishes, I kept licking the freezer bowl. And licking it, and licking it because oh. em. gee. That stuff is delicious. It was a super refreshing and light flavor, and so creamy. Yum, yum, yum. I took the leftovers to the office today too and it was just about gone when I left at the end of the day.

Okay. Now for the pound cake!!

Remember that last bundt cake I made? Where I used five sticks of butter? Well, I used a little healthier of a recipe this time around, where I used only 1 stick of butter, and fat free cream cheese and fat free lemon yogurt for the rest of the moisture in the cake!

I started by going ahead and squeezing the 1/4 cup of lemon juice I was going to need. 

I also coated the 2 cups of frozen blueberries with 2 tablespoons of flour (that is taken from the 3 cups of flour I put in a separate bowl). Doing this is what prevents all the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking.

Along with the flour, you add in 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp of both baking soda and salt.

In your mixer, you'll combine the room temperature 1/2 cup butter (one stick), 1/2 cup room temperature cream cheese (and to be perfectly honest, I totally accidentally used a whole cup of cream cheese, but it turned out awesome, so I guess its a good thing I used fat free), and 1 and 3/4 cup sugar. You'll mix for about 4 minutes on medium speed.

You'll then add three eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition.

Then mix in 2 tbsp lemon zest, 2 tsp vanilla, and the 1/4 lemon juice you squeezed earlier.

At this point, you'll alternate adding in the flour mixture with 8 oz of lemon yogurt. You'll want to begin and end with the flour mixture.

Then you veeeeerry carefully fold in the blueberries, and then pour the batter into the greased 10-cup bundt pan. And bake for about an hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

After letting it cool for 20 minutes or so, you'll take it out of the pan and let it finish cooling on the rack.

The glaze on this bundt cake turned out a lot better. I just mixed 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar, and started with 4 tsp lemon juice, but kept adding more lemon juice until it got to a good pouring consistency. Then I just drizzled it over the cake!

Look at how pretty!!! And it was soooooooooooooo tasty. Light, refreshing, the right amount of density. The lemon wasn't overly powerful and you got little juicy bits when you bit into a blueberry. Definitely one of my best to date for sure.

If you stuck out the post this long, give yourself a nice pat on the back!

1 comment:

  1. This cake is very high on my list of Favorite Carolyn Treats!