Blueberry Cottage Pudding

I found a recipe in my mother's "Ladies' Home Journal DESSERT COOKBOOK" from 1964. Since my husband eats anything with the word "pudding" attached to it, I decided to give it a try. My grandmother never had a standmixer in her kitchen that I can recall. But Kitchenaid did make the hand mixer available to the housewives of America during this time period. Even though my grandmother and great-grandmother had handmixers in their kitchens, they were fans of the wooden spoon. The recipe I chose uses the creaming method, so I really was not looking forward to trying to cream butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. Yep, I wimped out and used my handmixer.

The formal training I received as a Pastry Chef always harped on reading the recipe all the way through before starting anything, and never changing a recipe the first time you make it. I find this habit is really helpful with keeping any suprises in the recipes to a minimum. The recipe below is written out exactly how it is published in the cookbook and my first attempt will follow the directions as written with no changes.

Blueberry Cottage Pudding

Ingredient Measurement
Butter 1/4 Cup
Sugar 1 Cup
Egg 1 whole and 1 egg white
Flour 2 Cups
Baking Powder 2 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Milk 2/3 Cup
Vanilla 1 tsp
Blueberries 3 1/2 Cups or 2 packages frozen

Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the egg and egg white and beat well. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add alternately to the creamed mixture with the milk. Fold in the berries very gently and turn into a greased 2-quart baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes depending on depth of dish. Cut into squares and serve while still warm. Serve with lemon sauce or heavy cream.

antique cookbook

I began by measuring out all of my ingredients and used a handmixer to cream the butter and sugar. If you are following along with this recipe, be sure to use the lowest speed on your handmixer, and even then plan on the butter slingshotting across your counter a few times. After about 5 minutes of creaming I was only able to get the ingredients to a wet sand consistency, so I bumped up the speed to level 2 and mixed for another minute. This lighten the color and added in a little more air into the creamed butter.

**Second attempt I used my kitchenaid, but the size of the recipe made it very difficult to cream butter and sugar in a 6 quart mixer. I would suggest increasing the size of the recipe if you are using the same equipment.

Next, I mixed in the eggs until they were fully combined. Then I started to add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk and vanilla. Although the directions do not give specifics, my formal training has taught me to start and finish with dry ingredients. I started with a third of the dry ingredients then mixed in a half of the liquid ingredients and continued until everything was fully combined. 

**Both the hand mixer and Kitchenaid produced a smooth cakelike batter. I do believe I got more volume out of the hand mixer; the beaters have more of a whipping action than the Kitchenaid paddle.

It came time to fold in the blueberries and my brain screamed "toss them in flour so the batter doesn't turn purple and sink to the bottom of the pudding." But I was determined to follow the orginal recipe, so I fought my instinct. I used the 3 1/2 cup measurement since I was not sure how much "2 packages" meant and I folded in the frozen blueberries. Guess what - my batter turned purple - surprise, surprise. If you have the same issue, no worries the cake will still taste yummy, it will just be colored. 

The directions tell us to turn into a greased 2 quart pan which isn't very helpful nowadays. Today's pans use measurements such as: 8x8 or 9x13. I used a 7x11 pan and it took about 65 mins to bake in my oven.

Final Results

  • By following the original recipe exactly (I did not coat the fruit in flour), the blueberries to sank to the bottom of the pan and the batter had a purple tinge creating a soggy bottom layer.
  • I would recommend either the handmixer or the Kitchenaid to mix this recipe, but do remember the challenges with both and be proactive the next time.
  • I don't know if I would call this a pudding because it had the consistancy of a coffee cake with both the handmixer and the Kitchenaid.
  • I would definitely make this recipe again, but I may try a different fruit and increase the vanilla or add some spice to the batter. I would toss the frozen fruit in flour before folding. If I'm using the Kitchenaid, I would either use a smaller 4.5 quart mixer or double the recipe for my 6 quart recipe. The handmixer can mix the recipe size as is.
Blueberry Pudding In Glass Pan

The recipe suggests serving the Blueberry Cottage Pudding with either Heavy Cream or Lemon Sauce. Lemon Sauce appeals to me, but I know my husband enjoys soaking his cakes in cream, so it is all a matter of personal taste. I plan to try the Lemon Sauce recipe in the same cookbook. Find out my results in the next blog.