Cooking The Books February 2014- Blueberry Boy Bait from How To Be A Domestic Goddess.

For my second recipe out of Nigella’s “How To Be A Domestic Goddess” as part of my February Cooking The Books Challenge I turned to the Puddings chapter for ideas for our usual Sunday lunch dessert treat. I wanted to try out something unusual yet be something everyone would eat in our house.  We had all been ill the previous week, struck down with a flu virus and no one had much appetite for dinner.  Though by the time we had got to the Sunday, I was still off my food, yet my hubby and son were feeling better.  My daughter was yet to go down with it!

Nigella has a recipe for Blueberry Boy Bait in her book. The title has always made me laugh,ever since I first heard of the recipe when Ruth Clemens (aka The Pink Whisk) baked a Peach and Blueberry Boy Bait in the very first series of The Great British Bake Off.  Although I don’t need to be “baiting” any boys as I am already happily married, I was secretly hoping the man in my life, plus my two children would be attracted by it.  The original Boy Bait recipe dates back from 1954 and was invented by a Chicago teenager for the Pillsbury $100,000 Recipe and Baking Contest.  It is still popular today.

Nigella says in her introduction to the recipe that she “wanted something different, something more luscious and perhaps something more English”  So, her version, to me comes out more like a Blueberry Queen Of Puddings. It has a custardy breadcrumbed based sponge, topped with blueberry jam and finished with a pile of crispy meringue.

First I heated some full fat milk and butter in a saucepan.
First I heated some full fat milk and butter in a saucepan.
Then I stirred in some breadcrumbs, sugar and lemon zest.
Then I stirred in some breadcrumbs, sugar and lemon zest.
The bread thickened custard base is put into the oven and baked for about 20-30 minutes.
The bread thickened custard base is put into the oven and baked for about 20-30 minutes.
In another saucepan went the blueberries, some caster sugar, some flour and some lemon juice.
In another saucepan went the blueberries, some caster sugar, some flour and some lemon juice.

When I got the blueberries out of the fridge I noticed the big punnet I’d bought had been opened and some had been eaten already! So the blueberry jam only had two thirds of the blueberries in it!

Stirring in the sugar and flour till it dissolved but I still wanted to keep the blueberries whole.
Stirring in the sugar and flour till it dissolved but I still wanted to keep the blueberries whole.
The blueberry jam.
The blueberry jam.
I whisked 5 egg whites together using my hand mixer.
I whisked 5 egg whites together using my hand mixer.
The baked base came out of the oven. It looked a bit stodgy and unappealing to me!
The baked base came out of the oven. It looked a bit stodgy and unappealing to me!

I was a bit unimpressed by the look of the sponge layer when it came out of the oven.  If this was meant to be boy bait…  well we would have to see what happened. More like boy running a mile from looking at that!

The jam layer was spread on top of the sponge in the dish.
The jam layer was spread on top of the sponge in the dish.
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The meringue is now ready after I’d whisked the egg whites. I added caster sugar to it, bit by bit.
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Piling the meringue on top of the pudding!
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Trying to make the meringue topping more interesting, like big fluffy clouds.
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The pudding went back into the oven for about 20 minutes to crisp up the meringues.
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I got three separate layers! Last time I made a Queen of Puddings like this all the layers merged into one and the meringue was squishy.

The verdict?  My husband tasted it and thought the base tasted a bit claggy.  I agreed with him although being off my food I only had a mouthful.  My son ate the meringue bit off the top and my hubby left the base part but loved the rest.  My daughter did the same.  Afterwards my hubby picked off the bits of overhanging crispy meringue but sadly this was definitely not boy bait here.  I think I will try Ruth Clemens’ version (which is on her Pink Whisk website) another time to compare. What a shame.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

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