Finely chop all but 2 Tbsp. of the almonds. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, lemon peel and chopped almonds; set aside. Cream butter with 1¼ cups sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, scraping down bowl between additions. Beat flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in blueberries.
Spoon batter into parchment-lined and greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Bake in a 325°F oven until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 min.
Meanwhile, stir together ¼ cup sugar and lemon juice; set aside. Pierce top of hot loaf several times with a toothpick. Pour sugar mixture over loaf in pan. Sprinkle with reserved sliced almonds. Cool 30 min. in pan. Remove from pan and cool completely.
For a Fresh Twist: Bake as 12 muffins for 35 min