from one generation to the next
The scent and flavour of lemon is universally loved. Lemon is delicious with sugar and delicious with salt but it also has the magical ability of intensifying and enhancing dull and lifeless flavours.
There are always lemons in my fruit bowl, I never tire of their enervating zing. Both the juice and the zest have a million everyday uses, but I especially love food where lemony flavour reigns supreme.
My original recipe for lemon sour cream cake came from the Australian Women’s Weekly Cakes and Slices Cookbook C1980. I’ve made it a gazillion times in the past 35 years, in fact, it’s probably the most forgiving and adaptable cake recipe I make. I’ve varied the citrus flavour, added choc chips and nuts, reduced the sugar, altered the volume and experimented with gluten free, but it the end I always come back to a simple lemon formula.
Baking without wheat flour however poses a few problems with a simple pound cake recipe because the gluten gives structure to the butter-sugar-egg-cream ingredients. In this recipe, my substitution of polenta, ground almonds and white spelt flour works extra well. Not only does it give the cake batter enough strength to hold the blueberries, it doesn’t compromise the palate pleasing texture.
This cake not overly sweet, it’s moist without being wet and it cuts and eats cleanly, making it the perfect cake for picnics and lunch boxes.
Lemon Sour Cream Cake with Blueberries
200g castor sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
120g white spelt flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
100g ground almonds
80g instant polenta
150g sour cream
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons of flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a large loaf tin or 20cm round cake pan and line it with baking paper.
Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
Use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients and break up any lumps.
Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture then add the sour cream and thoroughly combine.
Spoon 1/3 of the batter into the base of the cake tin spreading it to the edges of the pan. Scatter over half the blueberries.
Add a second layer of batter, then the remaining berries. Top with the remaining cake batter.
Scatter the almond flakes over the surface of the cake.
Bake in the middle of the oven until the centre of the cake is cooked through when tested with a skewer, 40-50 minutes.
Remove the cake from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
This cake will stay fresh for up to one week in an airtight container.