Recipe: Walnut-Topped Blueberry Loaf

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Is it a bread? Is it a cake? The beauty of this walnut-topped blueberry loaf is its versatility, its ability to be whichever you want it to be. It’s not too sugary, so it tastes great toasted, blueberries bursting, and slathered with butter for breakfast. But its moist, dense texture and sweet topping also pair well with coffee or tea. The best way to decide? Bake it yourself and try it both ways!

I promise it’s easy, and definitely worth the effort. (Note: I used the strawberry-basil loaf recipe in the cookbook Ovenly as a guide.) You’ll be so glad tomorrow morning, when you slice it up for breakfast. And then again after dinner, when you have an excuse to eat another piece for dessert.

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Blueberry loaf, fresh from the oven

INGREDIENTS
~1/4 cup white sugar, plus more for topping
~1/4 cup brown sugar
~1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
~2 eggs
~1/4 cup maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
~1 tbsp. almond extract
~1.25 cups flour
~1 tsp. baking soda
~1 tsp. baking powder
~1/2 tsp. salt
~Zest from 1 lemon
~1 cup buttermilk
~1/2 cup to 1 cup blueberries (or as many as you want, really), rolled in 2 tbsp. flour
~Cinnamon, for topping
~Walnuts, for topping

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Loaf slices, loaded with blueberries

PREPARATION
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
~In a large bowl, combine sugars and butter and whisk until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, blending after each. Add maple syrup and almond extract, then mix well.
~In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.
~Add dry ingredients from the small bowl to the large bowl. Add buttermilk and blend until thoroughly combined.
~Fold in blueberries.
~Pour batter into loaf pan, then sprinkle walnuts along the top. (Though I only used a handful of nuts, I recommend using more than that because they add a nice, satisfying crunch to the loaf.)
~Dust with cinnamon and sugar, then drizzle maple syrup in a zigzag pattern along the top of the loaf.
~Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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I gave half the blueberry loaf to my parents and a couple slices to coworkers. By the next evening, the remainder was gone as well, settled firmly in Todd and my stomachs.

 

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