Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Blueberry Pudding Cake, found over at About.com Southern Food. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week’s recipe was my choice. I was on vacation in Maine last week (well really, the week before. What day is it, again?) and while I was there we spent a day shopping in Freeport (where the now-massive LL Bean store is located). We stopped at the bread store, When Pigs Fly, because they have the MOST amazing bread. I bought a loaf of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Swirl and Maple Walnut Banana and they were SO good (especially the cinnamon) that I swore to myself that when I got home, I was going to take up artisan bread making.
(When I actually GOT home, I amended that statement to “…someday.”)
One of the things they had at When Pigs Fly that I thought about buying but didn’t, since I was buying so much bread (and I don’t actually eat that much bread, anyway – I ended up sending most of it home with Danielle, who was visiting from Rhode Island) was a Lemon Blueberry Bread Pudding Cake. I didn’t buy it, but the idea of it sat in my head, and so when I got home, I asked my BFF Google to help me out. I found a bunch of recipes, and just mostly randomly decided on this one because I had all the ingredients for it.
(Upon reflection, and after looking at the picture of the original bread pudding cake, the end result that I got looked (and probably tasted) nothing like the cake at When Pigs Fly.)
Blueberries, lemon juice, flour, baking powder, salt (not pictured), cinnamon (recipe called for nutmeg, which I don’t care for), sugar, milk, egg, melted butter, vanilla, cornstarch, boiling water (not pictured).
To start with, the recipe says you can use fresh or frozen blueberries. I opted to buy a pint of fresh this time, but next time I will definitely go ahead and use the frozen. Also, the recipe calls for nutmeg, which I really don’t care for, so I substituted cinnamon, which I love.
First you’ve gotta pick through your blueberries and pick out any that are green or underripe, and pull off any stems that were left on the blueberries. Then place the blueberries in the bottom of an 8×8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top of the blueberries and set the dish aside.
Put all your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg/ cinnamon, and 3/4 c. sugar) in a mixing bowl and mix it together (which only takes a few seconds). Then add your wet ingredients one by one (milk, egg, melted butter, vanilla) until combined.
Spread the batter over the berries & lemon, which have been hanging out in the baking dish waiting for you to hurry the hell up.
Now, the next part of the recipe calls for you to mix 1 cup of sugar with 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch and spread it over the top of the batter. Upon reading the comments to the recipe, I found that a few people mentioned that that was way too sweet. So I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup and kept the cornstarch at 1 Tablespoon, mixed them together, and sprinkled it over the top of the batter.
Then I made Fred pour the cup of boiling water over the top of it all.
At this point, Fred was like “I don’t think I’m going to like this” and I was all “Shut up, you judgmental asshole.”
I put it in the oven and set the timer so I’d check it at 35 minutes (the recipe calls for cooking it 40 – 50 minutes). Then Fred said “Let’s run to Lowe’s! I need to get more PVC for my tree-watering system!” and I said “Will we be back in 35 minutes?” and he was all “YEAH, it’s only 10 minutes away!” and I was all “Well, stop yapping and let’s go!”
So we went to Lowe’s, and I fretted and worried the entire time that the cake was going to be done long before we got home (though that didn’t stop me from wasting time in the garden section), but Fred got his PVC and bought two more apple trees (when these trees all start producing for real, we are going to be seriously screwed), and we headed home.
“It would suck if we got into an accident right now!” Fred said. Har har.
We got home, and I ran inside, and of course the timer was already beeping. I opened the oven door expecting to find a burned mess, but instead found a lightly browned cake looking back at me. I decided it was done and pulled it out and let it cool.
When it had cooled a little, I scooped some out. There was quite a bit of blueberry-colored sauce on the bottom of the pan, so I scooped it out and drizzled it over the top of my cake. It was still pretty hot, and I ate it and it was okay. Not anything I’d necessarily want to make again, but y’know. Not bad.
Fred came in about half an hour later and got a piece, and before he ate any of it, he was like “This is going to suck, isn’t it?” Then he ate it, and he went and got another small piece.
“Really?” I said. “You think it’s that good?”
I went and tried another small piece. And somehow, in the cooling of the cake, it went from “Meh” to “HOLY CRAP GET AWAY FROM THAT CAKE IT’S ALL MIIIIIIIIIINE.” Between the two of us, we finished off that cake by the end of the night, and I’m not even embarrassed to admit that. It’s funny how something as simple as letting the cake cool makes it so much better.
For some reason I thought it was going to be a dense sort of cake, but the cake part wasn’t dense at all, it was light and flavorful and not too sweet (upon talking to Fred about it, he’d like it to be sweeter, so next time I’m going to use 3/4 cup of sugar, instead of 1/2 cup, mixed with the cornstarch). The sauce was tasty, and of course there were all those blueberries – blueberries are my favorite fruit by far.
I actually think that if you substituted sweet cherries or raspberries or peaches, possibly even chopped apple, that it would turn out really good as well.
This recipe’s going into regular rotation without a doubt. If I’d had a bag of cherries in the freezer – I usually do, but I can’t seem to find any – I would have made a cherry pudding cake to go with dinner (or maybe AS dinner) today.
PS: I know, I know, no cats in this week’s pictures, either. I completely blanked on it, because I am an airhead. Next week, I promise! (Unless I forget.)
Robyn picked this recipe because she is evil and knows that I don’t keep blueberries laying around! But I fooled her this time because I had exactly one bag of blueberries in my freezer. My uncle gave these to my mother and I was amazed when I found out that there were exactly two cups inside the bag. Bullet dodged!
This cake looked simple enough to me. I glanced at the ingredients to make sure I had everything and went about my merry way.
Note: Do not send children home with decent bakeware if you ever expect to see it again. Alex Michael return my 8×8 Fiestaware® pan immediately! This coming from a woman who still has a spring form pan she borrowed from her friend at the beginning of April. Sorry, Regan! I suck, but you knew that already!
The ingredients are pretty simple. The only unique one (for lack of a better word) was nutmeg. I was a little bit leery of it because my husband is already a weirdo about things like that and I was afraid if he saw me putting it in he would pre-judge. Although, in all fairness, Rick has been incredibly open and receptive to all of the new foods that we have been trying. I believe it’s because Robyn is involved and she can do no wrong in his world (yes, she has him fooled too). So now he’s all about trying the new things regardless of his pre-conceived notions. The ultimate test will be when I get him to try something with cabbage in it. Sauerkraut for the win!
Does anybody else pull out a bunch of stuff that they do not probably need in order to make a recipe? I think I used three of these things and the others were just in my way. I get a kick out of how my favorite measuring cups are in the back. The others are just cheapies that I bought whenever I happened to see them. The reason the ones in the back are my favorite are because the writing can’t come off (it’s molded into the plastic) and that they have a 2/3 and 3/4 cup. I don’t even know why I keep the other ones. Probably so I can make a mess like I have here and act all put-upon when I have to move them. Or wash them when I didn’t even use them because I spilled flour or some shit all over the place. My life. So full of angst and uncoordinated cooking.
I mixed up the batter and poured it over the blueberries. Pretty uneventful.
Sugar and corn starch. Yes, I spilled it on the counter. I am seriously challenged when it comes to clean cooking.
Holy sugar, Batman! I stopped myself from digging out a spatula to smooth out the sugar because this site is the real deal and y’all need to know (and most of you already do) that sometimes a hand does the job quicker. Yes, those are my fingerprints all over the sugar. This web site isn’t about impressing people with artistic photographs and gourmet blogging. This site is about two women who cook, eat and tell you what we think. Period. Because that’s what most people do. If you have time for impressive gourmet cooking and photography, good on ya. But we figured at the beginning that there is no point in being who we’re not so hello, hands as convenient cooking utensils!
This part freaked all of us out. My mom and husband just stood back and wondered if I had lost my mind. And one of them (Rick) wondered if he was going to have to run to the store to buy blueberries because I bombed a recipe.
It filled it to the top and I carefully carried that bitch over to the oven. Even managed to step over Fat Sadie and not spill a drop. That is a major accomplishment and I wish I could give myself a medal.
This is what it looked like when it was done. The picture on the web site showed it flipped over, but when I googled other pictures of this recipe it was just spooned out. What I’m saying is that I questioned the flipping over of this cake because I imagined the mess and my imagination told me to shut the fuck up with my dumb ideas.
Now this pissed me off. I have a self-cleaning oven and although I’m sure it beats the hell out of scrubbing, I still hate the smell and time that it takes. FOUR freaking hours of that stinking mess and it has a safety lock that means I can’t stop that shit once I start it. I had just cleaned my oven not two days before and now I had blueberries and sugar all over the place. Oh, I was so MAD.
We weren’t sure how to get this cake out. I tried the spatula first and then I went with a spoon. I tried a bit when it was still warm and decided to make the family try it when it was cool. It was still messy when it was cooled, but tasted much better.
This is what I ended up with. It’s blueberries with a cake-type top and then the cake has a thin crust-like coating. Everybody raved about how good it was, but everybody also mentioned that it was way too sweet. I figured as much with all that sugar! The nutmeg really added something special to it though. I was surprised and glad that it was included as an ingredient.
Felina gave it a shot, but was pretty much unimpressed.
Sadie ate it, but most definitely felt some guilt about it. Heh.
After discussing it (to death) we decided that it was a good cake, but much too sweet for this family. I’ll be honest, after we all tried a piece it sat in the refrigerator untouched until garbage day (but it did firm up nicely while in the refrigerator). We probably won’t be making it again. But the good news is that it means we can try other recipes that include blueberries until we find the right one!
- 2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg (or cinnamon)
- ¾ c. sugar
- ½ c. milk
- 1 large egg
- ¼ c. melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 c. sugar (I used ½ c. sugar - will probably use ¾ c. sugar next time)
- 1 T cornstarch
- 1 c. boiling water
- Place blueberries and lemon juice in an 8x8-inch baking dish. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg (or cinnamon), and ¾ c. sugar.
- One by one, add milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla, beating well after each addition.
- Spread over berries & lemon juice.
- Mix 1 c. (or ½ c. or ¾ c., depending on how sweet you want it) with cornstarch and sprinkle over batter.
- Pour boiling water over all.
- Bake at 350ºF for 40 - 50 minutes.