Up until a couple of weeks ago, I hadn’t yet made a cake with cornmeal. I had been holding on to the recipe, a page I pulled out of my Bon Appetit magazine over a year ago, and finally decided to make it. It’s strangely addicting. I found myself taking bite after bite trying to determine if I really liked it or not. Before I knew it, the piece was gone. I never told anyone there was cornmeal in it, yet my oldest son, daughter, youngest son and my husband all had a piece or two and enjoyed it. Some used the blueberry sauce, some didn’t. After all, it was good with just the glaze, but the sauce pushed it over the top.
Cornmeal adds an interesting texture to cake, giving it a slight crunch that’s noticeable but not too much that it’s no longer a cake. The aroma of this cake while it was in the oven was heavenly. When making the glaze I was tempted to question the recipe and add more lemon juice, but it was important to keep it thick so that it can be gently spread across the warm cake. This is not a drizzled topping, so follow the instructions, only adding a little liquid if needed to get to the right consistency.
Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Crushed-Blueberry Sauce
slightly adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
1 1/2 cups (packed) powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
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, cooled
Crushed-Blueberry Sauce (recipe below)
Combine 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. Set aside.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; line bottom with parchment (I used a 9-inch springform pan).
Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl; whisk to blend. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon peel, and vanilla in small bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture and melted butter into flour mixture. Using rubber spatula, gently fold liquids into flour mixture until just blended (do not stir). Scrape batter into pan; spread evenly.
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and cake pulls away from sides of pan, about 30 minutes.
Immediately run knife around sides of cake. Place rack atop cake in pan. Using oven mitts, hold pan and rack firmly together and invert cake onto rack. Remove pan from cake. Place another rack on bottom of cake; invert 1 more time so that cake is top side up.
Stir glaze until blended. While cake is still very hot, drop glaze by tablespoonfuls onto cake; spread to within 1/2 inch of edge (some glaze may drip down sides of cake). Cool completely. Serve with Crushed-Blueberry Sauce.
Crushed Blueberry Sauce
3 cups fresh blueberries or frozen, thawed (13 to 14 ounces), divided
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
Pinch of salt
Combine 1 1/2 cups blueberries and all remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to simmer, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries are very soft and liquid is syrupy, stirring often, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat; add remaining blueberries. Using back of spoon, gently press fresh blueberries against side of pan until lightly crushed.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Serve chilled or rewarm before serving, if desired.
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