blueberry upside down polenta cake
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Upside down cakes are a good technique for fruit that needs to cook down significantly in a cake. Apples are foremost, apricots too, plums and perhaps pineapples although the last mainly for the benefits of caramelization.
You wouldn't think very soft fruit or berries will suffer this treatment well, the end product effectively becoming a cake with a layer of jam on top, when inverted. So I was a bit suspicious of the idea of putting fragile blueberries at the bottom of the tin and then smothering them with the cake batter.
The effect is quite interesting though. The blueberries do turn into a jammy layer of sorts, not really aesthetically pleasing looking at the cake as a whole. But when you cut and taste it - yes, that works.
Polenta cake batter is so nice because of its crunch. And let's be honest: since anything with blueberries is gorgeous, so is this and I shouldn't have doubted it for a second. The recipe by Nigella via NY Times Cooking (soon subscription only!).
blueberry upside down polenta cakeServings: 12Time: about an hour and a half
- 50g (1/3 cup) soft light brown sugar
- 450g (3 cups) fresh blueberries
- 2 large eggs
- 200g (scant cup) caster sugar
- zest grated from 1 lemon
- 100ml (2/3 cup) milk
- 160ml (2/3 cup) sunflower oil
- 100g (scant cup) regular or instant polenta
- 160g (1 1/3 cup) plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp fine salt
1. Prepare a square 9 inch or a round 10 inch tin by buttering it and lining with parchment. Lightly butter the parchment as well. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
2. Sprinkle the soft brown sugar over the bottom of the tin and scatter the blueberries over it in an even layer.
3. Beat the eggs with the caster sugar and the zest until thick and pale. Add the milk and oil and mix to incorporate. Stir the polenta, baking powder and salt into the flour, add to the cake mix in three or four goes and beat in well. The batter will be very runny.
4. Pour it over the blueberries in the tin and bake for 45-50 minutes until brown on top and the skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
5. Cool in the tin until it’s not too hot to touch it, invert carefully onto a tray or plate and cut into squares.