One of the best things about going back to America is our visit to Maine. Our house is absolutely tiny- it was once a chicken coup that was bought over on a boat from an island. My father inherited it from his grandmother, and it’s certainly not without its quirks, but we love it. It’s tiny, there’s no wifi or phone signal so it’s a perfect break from the real world.
We spend our time hiking and walking on beaches and swimming in quarries. It’s pretty idyllic.
Up the road from our house is a wild blueberry baron, so blueberries feature pretty heavily in our Maine diet, from blueberry pancakes to cornbread to pie. The kitchen in our camp (‘camp’ in Maine terms refers to a small summer house, usually on the coast) is tiny and very old, and well stocked with things we inherited from my great grandmother. My dad swears that the spatula we have there is the best spatula in the world, wafer thin and perfectly pliable- the ideal utensil for blueberry pancake making.
Wild blueberries are completely different to blueberries you buy- they’re much much smaller, for a start, but also much tastier. My great grandmother (who left us the house) was a Mainiac through and through, and she lived to the ripe old age of 95. She lived off a diet of fresh lobster and wild bluebs and we are quite sure that was the secret to her longevity, and she continued to hand pick blueberries herself right up until her death.
This cake is a celebration of the blueberry. It’s maybe a tiny bit more refined than the usual baked goods we eat in Maine, but it’s all Maine in spirit.
Blueberry Lemon Cake with Lemon Poppyseed Icing
190g caster sugar
190g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
25ml plain yoghurt
zest of 1 lemon
Cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure you beat well after each egg. Sift together the flour and baking powder, then fold into the mixture. Add the yoghurt, then fold in the blueberries and lemon zest.
Spoon into a greased and lined cake tin and bake at 170 degrees Celcius for about 1 hour.
For the icing:
280g icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
juice of 1 lemon
Beat together the butter and icing sugar until pale, then add the milk to loosen the mixture. Mix in the poppy seeds and lemon juice.
When the cake is baked and cooled, cut in half and spread the icing in the middle. Decorate with a few more blueberries on top, then eat immediately and dream of the Maine coast.