Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C or 170°C for a fan oven).
Grease a 9 inch (23 cm) square pan with a bit of butter.
Ina small saucepan over low heat, stir ¼ cup of the sugar, the water, lemon juice and cornstarch together.
Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly.
Add the fruit and jam and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.
Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and the remaining ½ cup sugar together in a medium size mixing bowl.
In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, slightly cooled melted butter and almond flavouring.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the large bowl.
Stir just until well combined.
Spread the batter in the baking pan.
Carefully pour the strawberry sauce over top. (Don't panic at how this looks, it will all work out!)
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool for at least t 5 minutes (or you will burn your mouth on the sauce!).
Serve warm in individual bowls with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream on the side.
To make a Blueberry Pudding Cake, simply substitute 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries for the 1½ cups strawberries and ½ cup blueberry jam for the strawberry jam. When I use frozen blueberries I use them straight from the freezer without thawing.