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COOKING WITH GALA

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Pound Cake with Blueberries and Lavender Syrup

For cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature for 30 minutes
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

For blueberries in syrup
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons dried edible lavender flowers or 2 tablespoons fresh edible lavender flowers 
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 
10 oz blueberries (1 pt) 

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter and flour loaf pan, knocking out excess flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer or 5 with a handheld. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in zest and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour and mixing until just incorporated. Spoon batter into loaf pan and bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out with crumbs adhering, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool cake in pan on a rack 30 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely. 

Prepare blueberries in syrup: 
Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in lavender, then steep 30 minutes for dried lavender or 40 minutes for fresh. Pour syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding lavender. Stir in lemon juice and blueberries. Spoon over slices of cake just before serving. Serves 6-8.