Meyer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Pudding

 

Meyer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Pudding

 This month, as we think about cooking and baking for the people we love (a round-about way to celebrate Valentine’s Day), I decided to create this Meyer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Pudding for my partner, Brandon. For years now, I’ve heard him rhetorically ask, “Why, why, why are there not cakes that use pudding for frosting?!”

 

This cake is an act of love for more reasons than just the pudding-for-frosting swap: it’s also because it’s a cake recipe that doesn’t include chocolate (gasp!), is absent of peanut butter (choke!), and entirely without salted caramel (gaaahhh!).

 

As we’ve discussed before, my main squeeze is a pie guy, and though he likes cake, it’s not his first stop when perusing a dessert menu. He generally goes to the fruit-focused treats first. I’m the exact opposite – it’s taken me years to get to a point where I’m even willing to accept fruit as a dessert option, though when you have options like this, I’ll admit it’s not terribly difficult to change your ways.

 

So, as a sign of my ever-evolving maturity (I can make things for other people!) and acceptance of fruit in desserts (because this, can, in fact, cause a person change their mind), I made this cake. And, I have to admit: the sweet-tart richness of the cake + the sweet tart creaminess of the custard is pretty fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

Meyer Lemon Cake with Blackberry Pudding

Ingredients

Blackberry Pudding

  • 12 oz blackberry puree, with seeds removed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ¼ cup whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks

Meyer Lemon Cake

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Meyer lemon zest, from about 4 Meyer lemons
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup juice from about 2 Meyer lemons
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

for the pudding:

  1. Combine the blackberry puree, sugar, and lemon juice into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk occasionally as it heats, and remove from the heat once the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Combine the cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan and stir together. Stir in 1/4 cup of the milk and whisk until smooth, ensuring there are no lumps. Whisk in the egg yolks and remaining milk.
  3. Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot puree into the cornstarch mixture to temper the milk mixture, stirring until combined.
  4. Pour the tempered cornstarch/berry mixture into the saucepan with the remaining puree, again continuing to whisk vigorously.
  5. Return the saucepan to the cooktop and heat over medium heat. Bring the pudding to a boil, whisking frequently.
  6. Continue whisking while the pudding bubbles and begins to thicken, about 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and, using rubber spatula, stir constantly, for another 10-12 minutes while the pudding continues to thicken.
  7. Once it’s significantly thicker, pour the pudding into a shallow, heat-proof container and let sit on the count for a few minutes to cool.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until set, about 4 hours.

for the cake: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly coat two 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper rounds and coat again with baking spray.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.
  5. In another bowl, stir together the lemon juice, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  6. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are golden brown and a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer cakes to cooling racks and cool 10 minutes in pans. Turn cakes out directly onto racks and remove the parchment paper. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
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