Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blueberry Pudding Cake + The Floating Post Office

Sometimes we stumble across traditions that are so charming they are meant to be shared with others. Those associated with the floating post office on Lake Winnipesaukee are among them. The Motor Vessel (M/V) Sophie C.  is the oldest floating post office in the United States and she has provided summer mail service to islands in the lake since 1892.  The mail is delivered daily, but the ship also carries ice cream and other treats for children on the islands to purchase. The ship sounds her horn when approaching a mail drop and the children, young and old, gather on the pier and wait for the boat to dock.  Once mail bags have been exchanged, they swarm onto the Sophie and pick their treat for the day. The children traditionally thank the mailcrew with a diving exhibition as the ship pulls away from their island. The islands are quite diverse. Some house million dollar estates, while others, like that owned by the Appalachian Mountain Club, provide residents with very modest shelters, an outhouse and kerosene lanterns. The property, named long before the Pennsylvania nuclear plant was built, is called Three Mile Island. The name was not changed following the partial meltdown that occurred at the plant. Oversight? Intentional irony? Who knows?

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This simple pudding cake is a delight to make and eat. It comes from Gourmet magazine and has been designated a favorite of the magazine's editorial staff. The cake requires no special equipment and can be made in about 15 minutes. It consists of a simple batter that is covered with quickly stewed and sweetened blueberries. The berries sink as the cake bakes and the end result is an old-fashioned pudding cake that is delightful when served warm with a scoop of really good ice cream. This is a great cake for young or novice cooks to make. Here's the recipe.

Blueberry Pudding Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Gourmet magazine


1/3 cup + 1/2 cup sugar, divided use
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch
10 oz. blueberries (2 cups)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla


1) Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.
2) Stir together 1/3 cup sugar with water, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a small saucepan, then stir in blueberries. Bring to a simmer, then simmer, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
3) Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a medium bowl.
4) Whisk together egg, milk, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl, then add flour mixture, whisking until just combined.
5) Spoon batter into baking pan, spreading evenly, then pour blueberry mixture evenly over batter (berries will sink). Bake until a knife inserted into center of cake portion comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.

One Year Ago Today: Red Pepper Soup with Ginger and Fennel

Two Years Ago Today: Pasta with Zucchini, Parmesan and Garlic Oil


Hovkonditorn said...

What a charming story! And the blueberry pudding cake sounds like something I would love to taste! Have a great day!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I definitely have to go and buy a blueberry bush or 2 :) Have a great day Diane


Very fun mail delivery. It reminds me of bookmobiles.

Daniela said...

A fabulous sweet, fragrant and beautiful presentation. Daniela good day.

Sylvia said...

I love , love the pudding. Thanks

North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard said...

Love the floating Post Office, how original and quaint. Also saving the Blueberry Pudding Cake recipe as I am certain it is easy enough for even I to make. Thank you for sharing it all, Mary. Hoping you both have a great day ahead.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Our family loves all things blueberry. This one goes in the box for future use. ;) blessings ~ tanna

Kim Garceau said...

A floatting post office, I would have never tought it exists! In America, everything is possible, as they say! This cake, I like it, my type of summer dessert!

Jenn said...

Very cool about the floating post office. Something you definitely don't see everyday! What a great tradition that has carried on this long!
And of course, the cake looks and sounds so delicious. Wish I had a slice right now!

Cranberry Morning said...

Lake Winnipesaukee?? Isn't that the lake in 'What About Bob'? (one of my all-time favorite movies). I didn't know it was a real place. Thanks for the interesting post and photos! And the delicious recipe, of course. :-)

kitchen flavours said...

The Floating Post Office is rather charming! Your bluberry cake looks really good, moist and delicious! Thanks for sharing!

Joanne said...

A totally fresh flavored blueberry infused pudding cake sounds totally delicious!

David said...

Mary, That blueberry pudding cake looks terrific! I really enjoy findnig old time services like US mail delivery by boat. There are several in the US. A jet boat on the Rogue River OR; the J.W. Westcott on the Detroit River; The Walworth on Lake Geneva WI; Hells Canyon out of Clarkston WA; The Barbara W. Wiles on Skaneateles Lake NY; Lake Chelan in WA; The Benjamin Harrison on the Fulton Chain of Lakes in NY, plus boats delivering mail to Smith Island and Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay and delivery to the Casco Bay Islands out of Portland ME. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

From the Kitchen said...

A floating post office? I'd love to have that job! Lovely to have another delicious recipes for the blueberries that are still in season around here.


Barbara F. said...

What a fun thing to experience, a floating P.O. And the blueberry cake looks delish! xo

Melinda said...

Great story! One never stops learning when reading blogs!

The cake looks good too.

M :)

Ellen B Cookery said...

This is so interesting. I've done a lot of traveling and seen a lot of different things, but never a floating post office.

Au and Target said...

Oh My Cod, as the cats would say. We loove the floating post office! And that cake is very much like something we used to eat in Scotland. I'm keeping this recipe and am trying it next week. With local fruit as we don't get blueberries in Malaysia.

Balvinder Ubi said...

Blue berry cake is my all time favorite, no matter what i make it two three times in summer.

Gloria said...

Look perfect Mary:) I love blueberries!!

Veronica Miller said...

I work for the post office and was delighted with the floating post office you highlighted! What a delight! I would so love to see it in person some day--thank you for the photos. And your pudding cake-divine!

anne said...

Floating post office ?! Cool ! Would love to see that ! :D ...... Anyway , this blueberry pudding cake looks delicious ! With a scoop or two of ice cream is a must ! lol

justmebenel said...

Interesting article, I also found one that was quite interesting on 'are blueberries good for you'.
This is a helpful guide answering the question 'are blueberries good for you', including helpful advise with how they prevent against certain diseases, and how to incorporate them into a daily diet.

Tender B. said...

The oldest floating post office? I would've thought there is only one. The things I learn...

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