Aux Myrtilles

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cakes | La Pêche Fraîche

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.”

–Pablo Picasso

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cakes | La Pêche Fraîche

Can I tell you a secret?

Oh, bother—of course I can. I do it all the time, don’t I?
The rush—the relief—of spilling inky, irreverent and inwardly-felt thoughts into the incontrovertibly stained internet drives the very heart and soul of the blogosphere. I think.

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake | La Pêche Fraîche

The writing of this post began with sadness and loneliness pouring forth from a disquieted mind, with introspection and frustration and words that were important—questions about growing older that, inevitably, must be asked—but it fizzled, never reaching a boil but a rather disappointing simmer that belied the troubles beneath.

It took me so long to eke out a few tortured words.
The sentences clashed, metallic and hard-edged, and rather than producing the profound music I had hoped to hear, begat only dissonance and off-tune complaints.
Somewhere along the way I lost my thread of consciousness and the subtlety of the emotions thus came undone.

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cakes | La Pêche Fraîche

Without it, I was uncertain of the questions I was even trying to ask, or the tone I was trying to set.
This is just an elaborate way of saying: the writing sucked. It was bad. It was melodrama without substance and it was destined to develop into nothing. A half-assed staircase to understanding.

It’s not like I knew, firmly, what I wanted to write about. I was exploring as I wrote, as I often find myself doing in this space.
I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it; couldn’t quite convince each finger to tap out the required letters.

So I erased it, and sat in front of my computer, vexed.
I also simply don’t feel like putting effort into editing recent photos since I’ve moved (again)—it is such a pain, trying to document pretty food without any props and poor lighting and without my tripod.
It’s far more frustrating than not being able to articulate my anxieties, and that’s reflected in the photos.

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cakes | La Pêche Fraîche

I’m annoyed that my blog is lingering, stale crumbs lying stagnant.  The same post to see every time you click back. Boring!
I want freshness and excitement and movement, and yet I am swimming against what feels like an insurmountable tide of writer’s and photographer’s block to deliver even a single post.

I can’t wait to go back to Ithaca, where I have pretty linens and lots of plates and a huge oven etc. etc., if only to glean a little inspiration and rediscover myself in the big jars of flour and sugar.
Even if the trees cast green on everything up there.  Even if I have no pastry bags and piping tips or cake stands.  Even if there is a lot of cat and dog hair floating around in the summer air.
Even if these are all complaints I have lobbed previously, in indignant validity, they will vanish away when I’m back in the heart of my home—the kitchen. (Do I say this every time before I return home? Maybe.)

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cakes | La Pêche Fraîche

I’ve been waiting to share these enchanting little cakelets with you, as I felt them deserving of more than just a rant.
Whatever.  I gave up, I gave in, and I realized that they were plenty good on their own.  Rant be darned.
Some pretty, flowery words would have been a lovely accompaniment to these ruffled pound cakes, but a cup of tea does just as well in their stead.  Take it from me.

In truth, these photos are old enough to go back to Chicago, where the lighting was good and I had all my favorite kitchen tools.
This might be the real reason why I am feeling almost reluctant to release them!

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cakes | La Pêche Fraîche

I have so many posts highlighting summer’s produce to share with you all!
I really must make haste, because at the rate at which I am posting, it will be pumpkin-spice-latte season and I will be shit out of luck with a bunch of purply-stained blueberry posts lurking in my drafts folder.
I’ll start here, with these lovely mini pound cakes.
The base is a dense lemon yogurt cake, fragrant with zest and moist and buttery–in spite of the lack of butter in the batter–the texture is all due to a generous scoop of yogurt.
Each mini cake is studded with a few juicy blueberries, which, as they bake, collapse in on themselves to become sunken craters of sweet, sticky fruit.
Each cake is dusted with a little powdered sugar; in just two bites, tangy lemon and sweet berries are brought together in the best of summer pairings.

These would be magnificent if made with raspberries or blackberries, and I can imagine that they would also behoove themselves to a ripe wedge or two of peach or apricot.
These are a perfect accompaniment to summertime tea–sweet or unsweetened.
They’re adaptable to whatever summer fruit you have in your pantry (a few white chocolate chips would also sub brilliantly) and simple to make, and they bake so quickly that you won’t even notice that your oven is on!

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cakes | La Pêche Fraîche

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cakes
makes 15 mini cakes

2 eggs
135 grams (2/3 cup) sugar
150 grams (2/3 cup) yogurt
75 grams (1/3 cup) canola oil
zest of 1 lemon
120 grams (1 cup) flour
1 1/4 baking powder
5/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup blueberries
powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour 15 mini muffin tins or mini tart pans.
Whisk eggs briskly with sugar.
Add yogurt, oil, and lemon zest and whisk briskly until fully combined.
Add in flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir until the batter comes together.
Portion the batter out evenly into the prepared tins and press 2 or 3 blueberries into the top.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are golden and the blueberries have released their juices.
Allow to cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Enjoy with a tall glass of iced tea.

10 thoughts on “Aux Myrtilles

  1. Trying to take pretty photos in a dark cavernous cave and nary a prop in sight will be my story in the next few weeks as we move into temporary housing waiting impatiently for the developer to finish our home nestled deep into a church constructed in the 1880’s. Every week it seems the completion date gets pushed back even further so I worry that this rather uncomfortable plight will drag on for many more months than anticipated.

    That said, I can only hope to have tasty morsels as lovely as these. Writers, photographers or whatever block you are currently struggling with. . . these dainty little pound cakes are absolutely divine and the photos are equally spectacular.

    1. Lynn, thank you so much! It is such a frustrating wall to bang your head against, isn’t it? I’m sure that while it’s less than ideal to be in house-limbo, it will all be worth it when you can move into your lovely new home! xx

  2. Eep I love these little blueberry pound cakes.. they are so cute in the financier molds. Don’t stop Rachel – I love everything you do! And I definitely can relate to your rut/ blog feelings . Happens to me all the time too.

    1. Oh Thalia, you are truly the sweetest. It’s no small comfort to know that I’m not the only one who gets frustrated by her camera/writing capability! xx

  3. I definitely feel the same way… Most weekends, I pour over stuff that I can make, but don’t actually feel like making. And then after that, I still have to write a blog post about it. Result is a whole lot of head banging and no homework done. :/ Somehow though, we all end up alright 😀
    These cakes are beautiful!!!! I just ran across your blog and it’s absolutely gorgeous!!! and your writing is pretty great also 😉

  4. Rachel, you have such a beautiful blog and are truly a lovely writer. Even in this post, where you’ve expressed frustration over not being able to articulate yourself the way you wanted, I feel that your writing is beautiful and full of emotion. I also think your photography is stunning. I definitely wanted one of these darling lemon cakes after seeing all your gorgeous shots. I think all food bloggers go through periods of boredom and a need for something fresh, inspiring, and invigorating. I find that when I get stuck in this rut, it’s best to stop thinking about what I should do or make or contemplating the rut, and instead just be completely in the present, go about my day with positive energy and fresh eyes, and often times the best ideas will come then. And when they don’t, it’s still okay because I can just enjoy recreating classics for the sole purpose of enjoying them myself rather than for blog posting purposes. 🙂 P.S. feel free to share berry-laden posts whenever you want…even if its pumpkin season! We will all appreciate your delectable recipes no matter what season they relate to! XO

    1. Beeta, you are seriously so sweet. It really is so relieving to feel like our community of food bloggers always, well, gets it! The ruts, they come and go (presumably). I agree, the best thing is to keep pushing and creating through them! Thank you so much for your encouragement and kind words. They fall on grateful ears! xx

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