Huckleberry pudding cake

BEN PIERCE/CHRONICLE Huckleberry pudding cake.

Huckleberries are ripening in the mountains around Bozeman. These delicious blue, red and purple berries require no introduction and can be fully enjoyed straight from the bush. But for those pickers reaping the bounty of a strong winter snowpack and favorable summer conditions, it can pay to get creative with your harvest. This huckleberry pudding cake recipe is an easy and quick way to create a decadent dessert for your family and friends. The cakes and compote may be served warm or cooked the day before and refrigerated.

Ingredients

Cakes

  • 1 cup huckleberries
  • 4 tbs. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature, separated
  • 2 tbs. lemon zest
  • 5 tbs. all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup lemon juice

Compote

  • 1 ½ cups huckleberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbs. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Pinch kosher salt

Method

The cakes - Position oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Butter eight 4-ounce ramekins and coat the inside of each ramekin with sugar. Add enough huckleberries to cover the bottom of each ramekin. Place the ramekins in a deep-sided roasting pan.

Bring a large pot of water to a simmer on low heat.

Add the butter, kosher salt, 2/3 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon zest to the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and mix at medium speed until the creamy. Add the four egg yolks, one at a time, mixing between each addition.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour slowly to combine. Gradually add 3/4 cup milk and continue mixing. Add 1/2 cup lemon juice. Once fully mixed, transfer the batter to a large bowl.

Wash and dry the bowl of the stand mixer and fit the mixer with the whip attachment. Add the egg whites to the mixer and beat until the egg whites hold firm peaks.

Fold one third of the egg whites into the batter. Quickly add the remaining two thirds egg whites to the batter and fold to combine.

Divide the batter equally into the eight ramekins. Pour the simmering water into the roasting pan until the water rises halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Place the roasting pan with the cakes in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the tops of the cakes are golden and puffy. Remove the ramekins and place them on a wire rack to cool.

The compote - While the cakes are baking, add all the ingredients for the compote into a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir gently so as not to break the huckleberries. Boil for 1 minute and then remove from the heat to cool.

To serve - Once the cakes have cooled, remove them from the ramekins by inverting them into the palm of your hand. Turn the cakes right side up and place them on a small plate.

Spoon a portion of huckleberry compote over the cakes and serve.