Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bread

Wow, if you're a fan of blueberries and cheesecake, you're definitely going to love this bread. I spied this recipe months ago and have been waiting to try it. With the weather warming up, I have started to find blueberries at a more affordable price so I decided to grab some at the store last week. The original recipe called for a box muffin mix for the bread but I prefer to make my own so I used a homemade version.

This bread is an absolutely delicious treat. The lemon glaze on top keeps it moist and gives it a little something special, then when you bite into the cheesecake middle you'll think you've died and gone to heaven. If you can't find blueberries at an affordable price, frozen work well too.

For the bread:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1/2 milk (or buttermilk)
1 cup fresh blueberries

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 egg

For the glaze:
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a mixing bowl, fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 1-2 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla and lemon zest and mix together. Alternately add the dry ingredients with the milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix well. Fold in the blueberries.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the filling and whisk together.

Prepare a loaf pan by coating with cooking spray. Spoon about half of the batter into the pan, then spread the filling over the top. Spoon the remaining batter on top of the filling; you may want to drop by spoonfulls to get an even distribution as it will be hard to spread over the filling.

Bake bread for about 55-65 minutes, checking for doneness after 55 minutes. While bread is cooking, prepare lemon glaze. In a small saucepan, bring to a boil lemon juice and sugar. Stir until completely dissolved. Remove from heat. When bread is done, remove to a cooling rack and spoon on warm glaze. Let cool 10-15 minutes in the pan then remove the loaf to a cooling rack to cool completely. Resist the urge to cut into the loaf while it is hot, it needs time to set up.

SOURCE: Adapted from And Baby Makes Five and The Joy of Cooking

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