Blueberry Cornbread Pudding

The association of blueberry growers sent me this receipe along time ago. Only recently did I find it in my files, fortuituously at time when I had three-fourths of a pan of dried-out leftover cornbread in the refrigerator. And–believe it or not–a container of blueberries going south in the same reefer. I was home alone with nobody to bake cookies or brownies for me. The next thing I knew, all of these conditions came together in a wonderful dessert. It is also delightful as a breakfast. You know how good blueberries are for you.

  • 6 cups leftover, preferably dry cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh (can be overripe) blueberries
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, shells removed, or almonds
  • Sauce:
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 cup frozen (unthawed) blueberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

1. If the cornbread is still soft and moist, place the cornbread cubes on a baking sheet or pizza pan and bake until dry (about an hour). If you started with stake cornbread, skip this step.

2. Raise oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 10 x 12-inch baking pan.

3. In a large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, milk, cream, eggs, yolks and vanilla. Add the corn bread, blueberries and pistachios (or almonds) and stir it all gently. This step is finished when the biggest cornbread chunks still are a little dry in their centers.

5. Pour the cornbread mixture into the baking pan. It should have cracks and open areas. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for an hour. Remove the foil cover and continue baking for about 25 minutes more, until the top of the pudding is golden brown. Remove it from the oven to cool.

6. In a medium saucepan off the heat, stir the 2 Tbs. of sugar and cornstarch together until blended. Add the frozen berries and toss until coated with the sugar-cornstarch mixture. Cover the pan and cook over low heat. The blueberries will melt and slowly become a thick, bubbling sauce.

7. Drizzle the sauce over the baked blueberry pudding. But into three-inch squares and serve, warm or at room temperature.

Serves 12.

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