Adapted from a dear friend’s high altitude recipe, this light and fluffy cake was made in Denver Colorado, which is approximately a mile above sea-level. How you might adapt the ingredients if you fancy baking this cake on the beach or at Everest base camp is beyond me but I’m sure it will taste good, however it turns out.
This is a lovely summery cake that’s perfect served with a scoop of really good vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche and a few summer fruits.
MILE-HIGH BLUEBERRY LEMON CAKE
1/2 cup (120ml measure) soft butter
1 and ¼ cups (300ml measure) of sugar
2 cups (480ml measure) of cake flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
¾ cup (180ml measure) of milk plus 3 tablespoons
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
4 egg whites
1.5 – 2 cups (360ml-480ml measure) of fresh blueberries, picked over
For the syrup –
2-4 lemons (to yield 1/2 cup juice)
1/2 cup (120ml measure) sugar
The zest from all the lemons (use a potato peeler but be careful not to include any white pith)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease and flour a 10” x 14” cake pan.
Cream the softened butter and 1 cup (240ml) of sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually fold in the flour and a pinch of salt followed by ¾ cup (180ml) of milk and the vanilla, mixing well together.
In separate bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar until you have a glossy meringue. Starting with one tablespoon of meringue, add it to the cake mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining meringue, followed by the remaining 3 tablespoons of milk and finally the blueberries.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, even the top and bake for approximately 35 minutes. Test for done-ness with a toothpick (it should come out clean).
While the cake is baking, make the lemon syrup.
Combine the lemon juice with 1/2 cup (120ml) of sugar in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil over a medium-high heat then immediately lower to a gentle simmer. Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until it’s a bit syrupy. Turn off the heat, add the lemon zest and allow it to infuse for 20 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and using the same toothpick, pierce holes all over the cake at about 1-2 inch (2.5 – 5 cm) intervals. Strain the lemon syrup all over the cake and allow it to cool in the pan before cutting it into sections and serving with fresh fruit, ice cream or whatever you prefer.