My mother calls us every morning between 7.12 and 7.16 a.m., weekends included. There it's early afternoon and she just can't wait any longer to hear from us. Lately it's been a detailed account of how hot it is in Rome, they had hardly any rain, high humidity, very high temperatures. She tells me about the cats, how they're suffering the heat, and how she finds them, most of the time, spread like two furry rugs on the marble floor. And her and my father doing the head tilt on the sofa (and after the "siesta" my father would get up, go in the kitchen, prepare two cups of espresso coffee and they're going to have it with gelato, for a nice "affogato", or with whatever sweets my mother baked. I can see them as if I were there 🙂 ) . After that, my mother grabs the phone and calls us.
Here in Edmonton, thanks to few rainy days in the city and storms in surrondings area, it has not been as bad, I can already feel a little change in the air, the mornings and nights are cooler. Just a reminder that it's middle of august, summer is coming to an end and -possibly not soon- we might wake up one day to 2 feet of snow 😉 . Unpredictable Alberta weather.
This morning, for example, it's crisp and cool and it is cloudy. It remindes me of our fall days and suddenly a melancholy for the end of the summer makes me think of all the great things we enjoy during this hot season, including going berry picking and baking with fresh berries.
I have a plan to keep summer alive: baking a loaf with mixed berries and lemon flavor. Yes, that's what I am going to do, a Lemon Berry Loaf.
We have raspberries from my in-laws's backyard and saskatoon berries that we picked last saturday during a nice walk along the river valley. Organic lemons, greek yogurt and coconut oil from Planet Organic, and I am set to go. The recipe is adapted from a wonderful recipe I found while browsing on the web. It is from Smitten Kitchen and you can adjust it to whatever ingredients you have or want to use.
It is easy and quick to make. It smells good while in the oven and rises beautifully. I can't wait to ice it and finally slice it and taste it!
It is super moist, dense and juicy. Tart from the lemon juice and berries, sweet from the icing, a bit nutty from the coconut oil. The mixed berries give a fantastic color, just what I wanted to paint a summer picture.
Song in the background: "Cheerleader" by Omi. Nothing like the Caribbean sun to keep you in the summer mood.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen's "Lemon yogurt anything cake".Print
- 1 ½ cups (190 grams) + 1 tablespoon (10 grams) all-purpose flour (to toss the berries)
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (230 grams) plain whole-milk yogurt or greek yogurt
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (215 grams) sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120 ml) coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups (about 255 grams) berries, fresh or frozen
For the glaze
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 by 6 inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
- Sift together 1 and ½ cups flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Mix the berries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, whisk the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with the cup of powdered sugar. Set aside.
- When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.