Looking for ways to use up the last few Meyer lemons hanging in my garden, I rediscovered this recipe while rummaging through my 3-foot stack of recipes “to try.” This Lemon Cornmeal Cake With Lemon Glaze and Crushed-Blueberry Sauce by Abigail Johnson Dodge sounded complicated, but was relatively easy to make. With a full tablespoon of lemon zest in the batter and a lemon glaze on top, it did not disappoint in the lemon department. The cornmeal gave the cake a nice rustic texture, too. Although the Crushed-Blueberry Sauce was a beautiful complement in taste and in color, it was not absolutely necessary. It does dress up the cake, however, so if I were serving this at a brunch or as a dessert to company, I would serve it with the sauce. I made a few notes on my copy of the recipe for the next time I make this cake, and believe me, I will be making this cake again!
Linnell’s Adaptation of Lemon Cornmeal Cake With Lemon Glaze and Crushed-Blueberry Sauce
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled.
Up to 1-1/2 cups packed powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons or more fresh lemon juice
lemon zest, optional
Blueberry Sauce Ingredients:
3 cups fresh or frozen (13-14 ounces, thawed) blueberries, divided
2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
pinch of salt
To Make Glaze:
Combine 1 cup of the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in small bowl. Stir with spoon until smooth and paste-like adding more lemon juice by 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to spread. If too runny, slowly add the last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, checking periodically to make sure it’s not too sweet. If not serving with the blueberry sauce, add some lemon zest to the glaze. Set aside.
To Make Blueberry Sauce:
Combine 1-1/2 cups blueberries and all remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a simmer, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries are very soft and liquid is syrupy, stirring often, about 7 more minutes. Remove from heat: add remaining blueberries. Using back of spoon, gently press fresh blueberries against side of pan until lightly crushed. Cover and chill. Serve chilled or rewarm before serving. Can be made 2 days ahead.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups.
To Make the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×2 round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment. To do this put pan on top of a piece of parchment paper and trace around the bottom of the pan. Cut out parchment circle and insert in the pan.
Melt butter and let cool.
Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
Whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon peel, and vanilla, in a small bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture and melted butter into the flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold liquids into the flour mixture until just blended – do not stir. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and cake pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Remove from oven. Immediately run knife around sides of the cake. Place a rack on top of cake in pan. Using oven mitts, hold pan and flip cake onto rack. Remove pan from cake. Place another rack on bottom of cake and flip it again so that the cake is back to top side up.
Stir glaze until blended. While cake is still very hot, drop glaze by tablespoons onto cake and spread to 1/2-inch of edge. Cool completely. Serve with Crushed-Blueberry Sauce if desired.