This isn’t even distraction from writing my book. This is a recipe going in my new book. I thought I’d share it on here because it’s special.
This recipe exists because of a wee boy called Elliot. The lovely Sarah Lavelle (@InnatelyN8), who is going to be editing this book and edited my last book and who heads up food and drink at Ebury Publishing, is his mum.
Elliot invited me round for dinner once during his first year at primary school. He was turning the house into a restaurant, accomplishing his lifelong ambition. I was thrilled to learn that “blueberry pizza” was on the menu.
The experience at Elliot’s restaurant was definitely 5 stars (the sherry he served was especially excellent) but there was one disappointment: there was no blueberry pizza. I promised we’d make some together next time I was around. And this is what I have planned.
Despite involving a genoise sponge, three different types of superheated sugar and a blowtorch, this is an excellent recipe for doing with kids. Seriously. It’s healthy (well, it involves fruit, and you can use low fat custard), fast and pizza-shaped. You can take care of the potentially scalding stuff whilst the kids do all the whisking.
For the sponge:
2 medium eggs
50g caster sugar
50g plain flour
The finely grated zest of a lemon
For the jam:
200g blueberries (frozen are best)
100g caster sugar
For the drizzle:
The juice of a lemon
100g caster sugar
One quantity of vanilla custard (see my up and coming book), or shop bought
A little caster sugar, for sprinkling
Chopped nuts, for the praline
Fresh Blueberries, to finish
1. First, preheat your oven 200C/180C fan/Gas 6. Line the bottom of the largest tin you own (I used a 12 inch springform) with baking paper, grease the sides and dust with flour. If you’ve not got shop-bought, make the custard.
2. Into a large bowl, weigh out your sugar and crack your eggs and grate your zest. Whisk these for at least 10 minutes until light and fluffy and nearly stiff peaks. You can get the kids to do this if you like.
3. Fold in the flour gently with a spoon, until it is all combined. Pour your mix into your prepared tin and spread it out evenly.
Bake the cake for 10 minutes on the middle shelf, or until light and springy.
4. Whilst that’s baking, you can make the jam. Into a pan, put your frozen blueberries and sugar. Place this on a medium heat to melt the blueberries, then continue heating until they’ve broken down and the mixture is boiling. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes to thicken, then remove from the heat until it’s time to use.
5. Once your cake is done, leave it to cool in the tin. Whilst it’s cooling, make the drizzle. Squeeze your lemon juice into another pan and add the caster sugar. Place the pan on a high heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, and as soon as it is bubbling furiously, remove from the heat completely, Use a skewer to make little holes in your cake, then spread about half your drizzle on top with a pastry brush.
6. Transfer your drizzled cake onto a pizza board or peel, then upcycle the baking paper it was baked on by folding it and placing a handful of chopped nuts (I used pistachios) on top. Place your pan with half your drizzle back onto the heat (medium this time) and simmer until golden brown. Pour this onto your nuts and leave to set.
7. Spread your jam on top of your ‘pizza base’, nearly to the edges.
Then, spread a thick layer of custard on top and sprinkle the whole thing with sugar. Blowtorch lightly (or put it VERY close to a high grill) to brown for a melted cheese-style effect.
8. Scatter your fresh blueberries on top, and blowtorch these quickly to give them a shine (or glaze them, but the former is quicker). Chop your praline up into shards and lay this on top. Your pizza is now ready to enjoy. Keep it in the fridge for up to a day or two.