Today was a trip to one of our local blueberry farms to get the yearly supply of wild blueberries. After freezing 8 liters and then putting another 2 in the fridge for eating over the next couple of weeks – it was a hankering for baked blueberry dessert that arose. Tired of the usual crisp or crumble, it was time for pudding cake. A nice moist crumb cake topped with a thick blueberry pudding, perfect straight out of the oven or cooled down to toddler-snacking-temperature.
What you need for the blueberries:
- 4 cups fresh blueberries (frozen works too)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (more, up to double, if you want a very sweet dessert; with fresh berries our family prefers the cake sweeter and the berries on the tart side)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1 tablespoon whisky (optional but nice, feel free to use more if desired!)
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot
What you need for the crumb cake:
- 2 cups whole wheat or whole spelt flour
- 1/2 cup Sucanat or coconut sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder (I like making my own with baking powder, cream of tartar and arrowroot, using the recipe in Rebecca Wood’s The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia)
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup sunflower oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (I use a home-made extract that’s heavy on the rum and weaker on the vanilla beans, you may want to tone the amount done if your vanilla extract is supercharged)
What you do:
- Preheat the oven to 375 F and lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- In a saucepan stir together the blueberry ingredients. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook 3 or 4 minutes at the simmer and remove from heat.
- In a mixing bowl, sift or mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and Sucanat.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the applesauce, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture in the bowl and mix to combine.
- Spoon the batter into the baking dish and spread in a thin layer. It will look like there isn’t enough batter – don’t worry – there is.
- Pour the berries over the top of the batter and spread in an even layer.
- Bake 25 minutes.
- Cool a bit and then cut and serve.
- Swap out the blueberries for raspberries, chopped cherries, quartered strawberries or a combination thereof; adjusting the maple syrup as necessary for the sweetness of the fruit selected.