I wanted to bake something with mint and blueberries, as I thought that would be a winning combination and I didn't want the bunch of mint I bought at the farmer's market go to waste. I didn't have a recipe off the top of my head, so I scoured the internets. Everything I was finding with both mint and blueberry tended to be in the form of a beverage- a few lemonades or limeades with blueberry and mint but mostly cocktail recipe after cocktail recipe. I'm as big of a fan of girly-herb-and-fruit-infused cocktails as a girl can be, but I currently wanted to EAT them together, not DRINK them!
I came to the conclusion that if Lemon is Blueberry's trusty BFF sidekick, always reliable and showing up on time as expected, Mint is that crazy second cousin who always causes trouble. Mint is the one who somehow knows Blueberry's parents are out of town so Mint shows up with a bottle of vodka and some sugar, then talks Blueberry into having a little fun. I finally came across one recipe, for a Blueberry Lemon-Mint Drizzle Cake, but it was from a British magazine so the measurements were in grams and ml. "No problem!," I thought, "that's what kitchen scales are for." And so I embarked on my journey to combine mint and blueberry together, no alcohol necessary. Lemon and Blueberry are hanging out together in a moist poundcake, doing their usual "aren't-the-two-of-us-awesome-together" routine, then before you know it, you take a bite out of the crunchy top layer of sugar, and Mint punches you in the mouth. Not enough to hurt, because that would just be weird coming from a cake-- just enough for you to go, "Wow, why don't more baked goods match up mint with lemon and blueberries?! Can I have another slice, please?"
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for greasing the loaf pan
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup shredded sweetened dried coconut
freshly grated lemon zest from 1 large lemon (about 1 packedTbsp)
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried on paper towels (don’t want to add extra moisture to the recipe!)
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tbsp coarsely chopped mint leaves
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan with butter.
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: all purpose flour, baking powder, and table salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar. Add the tsp of vanilla, the lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice, and the eggs, mixing until thoroughly combined, then mix in the dried coconut.
4. Take 1 Tbsp of the flour mixture and toss it in a separate medium-sized bowl with the 1 1/2 cups of blueberries, until all of the berries are evenly coated. This will keep the blueberries from all sinking to the bottom of the loaf pan.
5. On low speed, mix the milk and the remaining flour mixture into the batter, alternating 1/2 of the milk with 1/2 of the flour, mixing until just combined, and repeating with the remaining milk and flour. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer, and using a spatula, fold the flour-coated blueberries into the batter, careful not to over mix the batter.
6. Pour the batter into the buttered loaf pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 65-75 minutes, until the top and sides are well browned and the cake is cooked all the way through. You can check for doneness by piercing the cake all the way to the bottom with a knife or a wooden skewer, and if it comes out clean (without any batter clinging to it), it's done.
7. While the cake is baking, prepare the mint glaze: Pound the 3 Tbsp of mint with 2 Tbsp of the granulated sugar with a small mortar and pestle until the mint breaks down into a paste. (Alternatively, if you have a little mini-chopper, you could try using that instead.) In a small bowl, steep the mint paste with the 3 Tbsp of lemon juice while the cake is baking.
8. Once the cake is done, let it cool for 10 minutes. While it's cooling, strain the mint/lemon juice mixture with a fine strainer, pressing down on the mint to extract as much of the juice as possible. Mix the liquid with the rest of the granulated sugar until combined.
9. Remove the cake from the loaf pan, and set it on a sheet pan or a piece of parchment (to catch any stray glaze). Pour the minty lemon glaze over the top of the cake. When it dries, it will be a thin crunchy layer of minty, lemony sugary goodness.
10. Slice the cake and enjoy. It's wonderful with a cup of hot black tea.
I stored the cake in the refrigerator after baking, as it is so moist with the blueberries I was afraid it would mold after only a day or two at room temperature.