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Blueberry Rhubarb Cornmeal Pudding

This is one of the most elegant and fuss-free desserts to serve at a meal, but also fantastic to travel with to a potluck or party. I love the intermingling of the sweet cornmeal baked in with bright rhubarb and juicy blueberries; every spoonful is a pure delight. I make this with fresh or frozen blueberries, and you can also swap the blueberries out with any other berry you’ve got on hand. It’s the unexpected crowd-pleaser!

  • Yield: 6 to 8

Ingredients

2 Tbsp unsalted butter or coconut oil

3 cups/720ml water

1 cup/160g fine ground cornmeal

1 cup/200g packed dark or light brown sugar

1 cup/240ml full-fat coconut milk

3 rhubarb stalks, trimmed and thinly sliced/ about 290g

1 cup/about 140g fresh or frozen blueberries (no need to thaw)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F/165C.
  2. Grease a medium (I used an 11 in/28 cm) oval ceramic or glass baking dish with butter. (You can use a circular, rectangular, or square baking dish, as long as you stay close to the dimensions and it can hold a little over 4 cups/960 ml.)
  3. Add the water, cornmeal, and brown sugar to a deep medium saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring often with a whisk to prevent the cornmeal from sticking to the bottom. The liquid will become visibly thick like a custard at about 175F/80C (don’t go beyond 180F/82C, total cooking time 5 to 6 minutes. If you don’t own a thermometer, coat the back of a spoon with the thickened liquid and run your finger across; if it leaves a trail and the trail holds, the liquid thickened to the right consistency. Remove from the heat and whisk in the coconut milk.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, toss the blueberries and rhubarb with 2 Tbsp of sugar. Fold the fruit into the cornmeal mixture and pour it into the greased baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven, rotating halfway through during cooking until the top is golden brown and develops a crust, about 1 hour. The pudding’s juices should be bubbling, and it will be jiggly.
  5. When it comes to finishing the pudding, I use either of these methods.
    1. Option 1: Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of sugar, or for a crunchier crust, use demerara sugar over the surface of the pudding at the 1-hour mark and then return to the oven bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
    2. Option 2: Bake the pudding, remove it from the oven, let it cool completely to room temperature. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of confectioner’s sugar on the surface before serving.
  6. The pudding can be eaten at room temperature or cold. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

  • It is essential to cook the cornmeal before it goes into the oven; this helps the starch in the corn hydrate, swell up, and thicken the pudding.
  • If the coconut milk isn’t fragrant enough to your liking, stir in 1 tsp of coconut extract. I use Aroy-D, one of the best brands of coconut milk I’ve come across.

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