This is an interpretation of a summer pudding, which is usually made with white bread and macerated fruit. The corn bread recipe comes right off the box of Quaker brand yellow cornmeal. Corn bread and berries form this "cake."
Serve with sweetened whipped cream and/or lemon curd.
Make Ahead: The cake must be assembled at least a day in advance so the corn bread can soak up all the fruit juices.
Servings: 16 - 20
- For the corn bread
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups nonfat milk
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- For the cake
- 1 cup creme de cassis (may substitute berry juice)
- 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
- 10 cups mixed berries, such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries or quartered strawberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon)
- 3/4 cup raspberry jam
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 400 degrees. Spray the insides of two 8-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking oil spray. Line the pans with rounds of parchment paper, then spray the paper as well.
For the corn bread: Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Add the eggs, milk and oil; mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool.
When the corn bread layers have cooled completely, invert, discard the parchment paper and cut each layer horizontally to form 2 rounds (for a total of 4).
For the cake: Have ready a 9-inch springform pan.
Lay the first of the four cornbread rounds in the bottom of the pan, cut side up.
Cut the second round of cornbread into rectangles or cubes. Use them to build an inner well for the berries to come, standing them up close together along the inside of the springform pan (on top of the bottom round of cornbread). They should come almost to the top of the springform pan.
Trim the third round of cornbread so that it fits just inside the well created by the cornbread rectangles/cubes, then set it aside while you prepare the berries.
Place 1/2 cup of the cassis in a small bowl, then sprinkle the powdered gelatin over it; let it soften and set for 5 minutes.
Place the remaining 1/2 cup of cassis in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then add the cassis-gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved. Add the berries, sugar and lemon zest, and mix to combine; cook for just a few minutes, long enough for the berries to release their juices and begin to soften slightly. Remove from the heat.
Use a slotted spoon to place half of the berries in the well created by the cornbread-lined springform pan. Then press the trimmed (third) round of cornbread on top of the berries (it should be a tight fit) and spoon the rest of the berries onto that layer.
Place the fourth round of cornbread on top, cut side down, and press gently to make it even with the top of the pan.
Pour any remaining berry juice evenly over the top of the cake. Cover with plastic wrap, then put an empty cake pan on top and weigh it down with a 28-ounce can. Refrigerate overnight.
About 45 minutes before serving, bring the jam to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to form a glaze. Remove from the heat. Use an offset spatula to spread the glaze over the top of the cake, leaving a half-inch margin around the edge. Return the cake to the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.
To serve, remove the sides of the springform pan. Place the cake on a platter and dust the top with confectioners' sugar.
From columnist David Hagedorn.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
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