Food & dining
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    Recipe for blueberry pudding-cake

    food styling/Sheryl Julian and Valerie Ryan; Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff

    Makes one 8-inch square

    Sue E. Conrad of North Redington Beach, Fla., writes: “This recipe’s origin is unclear, but I’ve had it for years! I’ve made it for family get-togethers, among other occasions, and it always receives rave reviews.” Making this pudding-cake is like doing a science experiment; you wonder how it is ever going work. It begins with a layer of blueberries, which are topped with an eggless batter. Onto the batter goes a mixture of sugar and cornstarch, then you pour boiling water on top. You have not ruined the confection. It’s an old technique that magically produces a berry-packed saucy bottom topped by a cake with a shiny crackling of sweetness.

    CAKE

    Butter (for the pan)
    1pint (2 cups) fresh blueberries
    2tablespoons lemon juice
    2tablespoons water
    ½teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1cup flour
    1teaspoon baking powder
    ¾teaspoon salt
    3tablespoons butter, at room temperature
    cup sugar
    ½cup whole milk

    1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Butter a deep 8-inch round or square baking dish (or another dish with a 2-quart capacity).

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    2. In the baking dish, combine the blueberries, lemon juice, water, and cinnamon. Shake the dish until the berries are well coated.

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    3. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt until blended; set aside.

    4. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour.

    5. Drop the batter evenly by spoonfuls over the berry mixture. With an off-set spatula or back of a spoon, spread the batter evenly over the berries.

    TOPPING

    ¾cup sugar
    2teaspoons cornstarch
    Pinch of salt
    ¾cup boiling water

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    1. In a bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Sprinkle this evenly over the batter.

    2. Pour the boiling water over the entire surface. Do not stir.

    3. Bake the pudding for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is golden and crackly. Serve with a big spoon in shallow bowls. Adapted from Sue E. Conrad