Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Blueberry Leftover Pudding

 My first recipe is an exercise is using up excess. I had made this cake earlier in the week because ,well, it was called a 'Doughnut Cake' and who can resist that. Turns out the cake was kind of plain and neither tasted nor smelt much like doughnuts.  Although tasty, a week of plain cake is more than enough and it is starting to get a bit dry. We are huge fans of bread and butter pudding, so I wondered if I could use the leftover cake and the principles of bread and butter pudding to make some sort of desert.

I started by infusing milk with the rind of a lemon as I want to use some blueberries in this recipe and lemon and blueberries go so nicely together. The milk will be for the custard. While the lemon and milk sat together warming on the stove I sliced my leftover cake into approximately 1/4 inch pieces and lined my dish, a nice base layer for the blueberries to sit on. This time of year fresh blueberries are of the imported kind and I try when ever possible to only buy fresh when it's in season, so frozen will have to do. Actually, when it comes to fruit and baking there is nothing wrong with frozen. At this point I was humming and 'haing', about whether I should add some other fruit too, but in the end decided to keep it simple  and see how things work out. I dusted the blueberries in a little flour to stop things from getting too liquid and potentially preventing the custard from setting. It just seemed like a good idea, I have no science to back that theory up! (the flour just made a goopy mess!)
To make the custard I followed an old recipe that has been with me for at least 20 years from the 'Good Housekeeping New Step by Step Cookbook'. This was the first cook book I ever owned and was a gift from my parents. I have taped the binding together many times, had to un-stick pages and decipher recipes obscured by spills and splashes. It was the only cook book to survive the cull when we edited for our move and will be with me till my dying day! But back to the custard. Simply mix all the ingredients together and once combined, pour evenly over the cake and berries. Let it sit for a bit so the cake can absorb the liquid then pop it in the oven for an hour or so.

Once out of the oven and cooled I toasted some roughly sliced almonds to scatter on top because frankly it was one ugly looking pudding! Almonds didn't do much to help.  Although important, looks aren't really what matter when it really comes down to it so time to get a spoon, dig deep and taste:)

Yum! Creamy custard, tart berries and a crunch from those last minute almonds. Next time I think I would cut the cake into smaller squares and scatter the berries in amongst the cake rather than layering it or better yet, put the cake on top of the berries, to make it more aesthetically pleasing. Perhaps adding a topping of brown sugar and cinnamon would make a nice crust and hide the ugly better than the almonds!

Blueberry Leftover Cake

Plain cake (at least day old is better), enough to cover the base of your dish. Mine was 8"x11"
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
750 ml milk
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
3 eggs
2oz sugar ( I used 1oz agave syrup as that's all I had)

Preheat your oven to 350F (180C)
Gently heat the milk and lemon rind over low heat to a boil. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile slice your leftover cake and cover the base of your dish. Scatter the blueberries on top of the cake.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar and slowly mix in the cooled milk.
Pour the milk mixture over the cake and berries and leave to soak for about 5 minutes.
Place your dish in a roasting tin containing enough hot water to come halfway up the side of the dish.
Bake for 50-55 minutes until the custard is set and the top is golden brown.

This pudding is best eaten when warm but can easily be reheated the next day, either in a warm oven or in the microwave. If you wanted to add the sugar and cinnamon topping do so before baking using 1tbsp of a dark sugar such as demerara mixed with 1tsp of cinnamon.

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