Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blueberry Pudding Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream

I came to study in the Maritimes about a year ago and one of the first things I learned was of the existence of the wild blueberry. I first tried them on a whim last year and have been waiting for them to come back into season ever since.

Despite being tiny, they have such an intense flavour compared to cultivated blueberries it is really amazing. My waiting was finally rewarded when I saw the first cartons of blueberries in the markets. I decided to splurge and bought myself a carton of the teeny fruits, with the intent of using them on a blueberry baking spree.

I was in an indulgent comfort food mood, since I just finished up some classes this summer, so I decided to make this blueberry pudding cake because I was intrigued by the concept and wanted a full on blueberry dessert. You could use cultivated blueberries for this recipe too but if you can get them wild blueberries are amazing in this recipe.

A blueberry pudding cake is similar to a lemon pudding cake in that there is a sauce layer on the bottom and a moist fluffy sponge cake layer on top. However Unlike its citrus (or chocolate!) compatriots, this cake does not owe it’s separation to the mixing method, rather you simply layer the ingredients in the pan so the sauce bubbles underneath while the cake bakes on top.

The first step to making this is to toss blueberries with sugar in a baking pan. This probably won’t be a problem with cultivated blueberries but if you use wilds you must take a bit of time to do some de-stemming. Picking the microscopic stems out of the tiny berries is a pain but so worth it in the end.

Next you make a lemon scented cake batter that is as smooth and satiny as a dog’s ear, and spread it over the berries in the pan, smoothing as you go. Then comes the strange part, boiling up a syrup of water sugar and lemon juice and then pouring it over the cake before baking. I was a bit trepidatious at this point but when the cake came out of the oven I breathed a sigh of relief. It came out perfectly.

Tender moist cake served warm with its own sauce, it’s easy and pure comfort food.

But I needed more!

I decided to make a cream cheese ice cream to go with my blueberry cake.

This cream cheese ice cream is so simple to make. It is whipped up in the blender and then churned in the ice cream machine. I think it is one of the better ice creams I have made lately. This ice cream tastes exactly like cheesecake, the texture is smooth, creamy and thick and it tastes slightly tangy because of the cream cheese. This ice cream complemented my pudding cake very well, when the tangy ice cream melts into the warm blueberry sauce, it tastes like a blueberry cheesecake.

I would definitely make both of these recipes over and over again.

This cake can be made ahead of time but it doesn’t keep too well, after more than a day, because the blueberries begin to get absorbed by the sponge cake. It is good either warm or cold but I prefer this cake warm.

The wild blueberries were tamed and they tasted good!

Blueberry Pudding Cake

Makes 8 servings

Time: 1-1/2 hours, including 50 minutes baking time

  • 3 cups wild or cultivated blueberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Cake topping

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • ½ cup milk

    1. In a greased 8-inch glass baking dish, toss blueberries with 1/3 cup of the sugar; set aside .(can be done ahead of time)
    2. Make cake topping: In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in lemon zest and vanilla.
    3. Ina separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of milk. Scrape over blueberries, smoothing top. Set aside.
    4. In a small saucepan, bring water, lemon juice and remaining sugar to boil; pour over batter. Bake in centre of 350 degree F oven until bubbly around edges and cake is firm to touch, 50-55 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. (Make ahead: Set aside for up to 8 hours; reheat if desired)

Adapted from: Canadian Living Magazine August 2008

Cream Cheese Ice Cream

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

    1. Combine cream cheese, milk, lemon juice, sugar and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cream and vanilla. Chill completely.
    2. Freeze mixture inn ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.
    3. Let ice cream soften for 5 minutes before serving.

This ice cream can be made up to 1 week ahead.

From: The Gourmet Cookbook ed. Ruth Reichel

No comments:

Post a Comment