Friday, August 29, 2014

Blueberry Pudding Cake


Let’s go back in time. About a month ago, I was living in Hudson, New York, and working like a madwoman in order to finish the sixth print issue of the startup magazine where I worked. The last two weeks before shipping a completed magazine to the printer were always intense. All of five of us on the editorial staff devoted pretty much every waking minute to one purpose: finish. Late nights in the office. Early mornings in the office. As the managing editor, I kept track of each story in the page proofing process, and would dream of spreadsheets. In my dreams I wouldn’t really be doing anything. Just sitting there, staring at spreadsheets.

In the middle of this last magazine close, on a Sunday afternoon, I forced myself to not think about work. Instead, I baked. It was late July, and when I went to the market that Saturday, I spent about a million dollars on blueberries, and every one of those dollars was worth it. Especially when I baked a blueberry pudding cake, which tasted pretty much the way summer should taste, even if you spend your summer mainly just working. I brought the leftovers to the office on Monday. The pan was empty in a few hours.

Let’s go further back in time. Nine years ago tomorrow I was in the accident that caused me to lose my sense of smell, change my career and begin writing. This anniversary sneaks up on me. But every year, a few days before August 30, I begin to feel a nagging anxiety, a trill of panic deep in lungs. I don’t understand it until I look at the calendar. Then I remember where I was that morning (happily planning my first days at culinary school) and where I would be that afternoon (in a Boston hospital with a head contusion, severed knee ligaments, shattered pelvis and a vanished sense of smell). It’s been almost a decade but it scares me, still.

Now: go eat cake.



Blueberry Pudding Cake
From Gourmet, circa 2005

1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 heaping cups blueberries
1 cup flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small saucepan, mix together the first 1/3 cup sugar with water, lemon juice, cornstarch and blueberries. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Take off heat.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar in a medium bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together egg, milk, butter and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to this, stirring until just combined.

Pour the batter into a buttered 9-inch baking pan. Spread evenly. Pour blueberry mixture of the top of the batter, and let sink in. Bake 25 – 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan. Leftovers keep well, though won’t last long.

7 comments:

Hannah said...

Can't wait to try blueberry pudding cake, which I have never had but am now craving. Nine years and counting --

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing about the preparation of blueberry pudding cake . As i have been working as a writer, in one of the leading online professional resume writing service website. I have been living away from home and so, in order to save some money in my salary, i have been preparing my dinner myself and whereas, on morning and afternoon, i will prefer to have my breakfast and lunch in my company canteen itself. During sundays,i will prefer to prepare by myself for all three timings such as breakfast, lunch and dinner with the help of menus and items preparations which are all listed out in various blogs like this.

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PicCell Wireless said...

This looks fantastic and cannot wait to make it! Thanks for another great idea and recipe! Love you!

Миша Глик said...

Just read your book. What a unique, honest, entertaining, and educational journey it was! I wanted to know what happened after. What are you busy at? What happened to Matt? Who is Greg? You are not listed in Modern Farmer magazine any more, how did that happen? I live in Boston, any suggestion for an entertaining food restaurant (like you did in Chicago)? Would love to hear from you...