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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

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

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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).

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

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

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

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